A week ago, the most amazing thing happened to me.
It was so empowering, so moving…that I haven’t even been able to write about it until now. I had to keep it–secure, and close to my heart–just to me.
A week ago, I sat, for the hundredth time, on my therapist’s couch. I spent time talking to her about my week–the good, the bad, the stressful.
For the most part, I had been in a better place. I have been constructing and utilizing boundaries better, and I have dug deep to find a little bit of the confidence that my soul holds.
My therapist and I had been wanting to do some intensive EMDR work over my feelings of stuckness and, in fact, had planned quite a few appointments. However, she had a family emergency and we had to push all of those appointments back.
That left me on my own, with ample time to process my last EMDR session and life in general. It was a good thing. I was able to take on some new perspective and breathe just a little bit deeper in my knowledge of *me*.
On this Saturday morning, however, we were ready to go. My therapist explained that she wanted to try something new with me. It is called future template.
You see, rather than delving into the past, where I so often get stuck, she seemed to think I was ready to imagine the future. How would I handle certain situations, if I could be my best self?
I held on to the pulsers, slowly relaxing my way into the uncomfortable process of reprocessing. I imagined a teacher who is really petty, unkind, and often passive aggressive towards me, and I imagined the way that I would deal with her behavior. (Normally, I spin out of control…the fear, the doubt…believing that I am a failure, I am not good enough.)
I closed my eyes, and I imagined holding my head high. Her behavior? It was about her.
Not about me.
But my brain, my tricky brain, couldn’t help but think to itself–okay, but what about those people who really matter to you? What if you start to fear you have messed something up with them? That is when you really spiral out of control. That is when the fear really grips you.
So, with my eyes still closed, and those pulsers buzzing from one hand to the other, I imagined the people that I loved. And, the most incredible thing happened.
I realized something.
Those people that I really love? They love me, too. Not necessarily in the way that fills the holes from my own family. But, in a new way.
A way that I deserve.
And suddenly in that moment, I got one incredibly clear message. Two words: It’s okay.
In the middle of the processing I opened my eyes and looked directly at my therapist.
“It’s okay,” I said. “It’s all okay.”
I explained how I quickly jumped from a casual work acquaintance to my true friends–the ones whose abandonment would hurt the most, and imagined how I would deal with future problems, worrying about my normal pattern.
But, the normal pattern was no longer there. As if, by magic, my path seemed totally clear.
I realized…I can have ups and downs. My real friends don’t change their love for me.
My therapist listened and said, “Yes…your relationships are no longer conditional! You no longer have to worry about earning their approval. Go with that.”
And, the tears started.
Not the sad, burdened tears.
Instead, the amazed, overwhelmed tears.
Tears of joy.
Tears that suddenly realized that I am safe.
I am okay.
I can have a bad day. A bad thought. A bad week. But I will no longer be punished for those things. Not by anyone else. Not by myself.
Suddenly, all of my power was given back to me. Not controlled by anyone else.
Just. By. Me.
I cry even thinking about it. My therapist looked at me, beaming. Proud.
I wasn’t ready for that look, then. But now? Now I am ready. I am proud of me, too.
All week, I have held my head high. Propelled by a new kind of confidence. Any time I feel overwhelmed or begin to feel a seed of doubt in my chest, all I have to do is close my eyes. When I close my eyes, I can recall that warm, bubbly feeling of strength and hope that shouts, “I am okay!!”
It isn’t about me. Your reaction–it isn’t about me. I am not less because you might think I am.
I am me. I am worthy.
I am okay. ❤