Being in therapy will probably be one of the most exciting, exhilarating, scary and offensive experience that you will ever have in your life. Therapy helps us to deal with the “bears” that brings us in to talking with someone. Think of a bear. It is a huge animal. Ferocious and protective of its young. Teeth that will bite the average human in half with one motion. Bears are not things that die easily. Neither do the behaviors that bring us to the point where we need a new someone to assist us in getting to the next leg of our journey. What is your “bear”? Yes, therapy that invites and makes space for change, will have each of these components. Let’s discuss each term their reverse order.
Offensive: Therapy will be an experience that will unpack experiences that you had LONG ago thrown away into a bottomless pit. The “bear” had been in hibernation. At this point of the process, we awaken it. During this phase, you may find yourself confused, sad and sometimes straight up mad. You’ll find yourself having an “I know she didn’t” type of moment.
Scary: Sometimes allowing someone to have access to your secret self is without question one of the scariest experiences that we face. The “bear” is standing at full length. She is bearing her fangs, howling and in protection mode. See, we are not particularly open to dealing with the parts of us that create shame, guilt and disgust within us. Because of the uncovering of these truths, we are frightened out of our minds. The questions that run through our minds are “What will they think about me?” “Am I crazy?” “Did I deserve that awful thing?” Yes, vulnerability is without question scarier than any horror movie that you can imagine.
Exhilarating: Ahhh, yes! Now we are getting into the good stuff! Once you get past the offense and move beyond your fear, you will find out a very interesting fact about yourself. You are a survivor! The “bear” didn’t kill you. You were able to withstand the bear. You were left fully intact despite the harrowing experience of staring eyeball to eyeball with your bear. You recognize that the “offense” was not truly “offensive” in an insulting sort of way. No, the “offense” was a natural response associated with having a portion of you examined that was never acknowledged, let alone examined. You are beginning to separate what had once been unquestionable truths are now dismantled myths.
Exciting: Much like the Sphinx, you, too are now rising! You are accomplishing things that you NEVER thought possible. People are asking you, telling you “You’re different now.” You are living the life of your dreams. Your hard work has paid off. You recognize that life was meant to be more than what you had given it. You realize that you were always stronger than the “bear” that kept you in bondage. This excites you, because you now understand that no other “bears” will put you in captivity again.
This process does not begin, though, until we get to the question: “May I poke your bear?”
Take a peep at this book. It discusses the above process at length.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead