“There’s no greater battle in life than the battle between the parts of you that want to be healed and the parts of you comfortable and content remaining broken.” – Iyanla Van Sant
January one, twenty eighteen
Only the Lonely – A Poem
The earth at night, at least from my point of view, screams for the dawn in a violent whisper that only I can hear.
– T. Rogers
Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’
It took me so long to pass my LMFT exam that those I mentored during my internship had interns themselves! I tried hypnosis, studying too much and not enough. Here’s what I figured out…for me: in the simplest of terms, but not so conservative numbers of words…..I was unconsciously unaccepting of my rightful place as a licensed, knowledgable, and worthy professional.
I mean, I had the best reputation as one of the most successful interns in an extremely competitive and saturated field in Beverly Hills. My supervisors would basically leave me alone to do the deep work with very difficult clients. But on some level, some very deep early underdeveloped level, I could not, would not accept that this was meant for me to not only have, but thrive within!
It wasn’t the material, the effort or the temperature of the exam room (although can someone please tell me why they feel the need to freeze everyone out??), it was that I needed to step back, get still, and recall that although I KNEW I had come a long way (an extremely long way actually), I had THOUGHT that I had quieted that ironically insecure yet powerful voice that questioned my right, my deserving, my expectation of self-actualization. When really, I had only negotiated a temporary contract with my lonely, insecure and clearly anxious self.
This contract allowed me motivation and ambition, but only for so far and for so long. In other words, I needed to consider who I would need to be once I became licensed. That person is someone who absolutely forgives himself when he makes mistakes. That person unequivocally takes an empathic stance with himself first before he can give to others. He is more confident than unsure, and more focused on providing himself with self-care so that he can honestly and with seemingly unlimited empathy and professionalism, preach what he practices.
It was my experience anyway, that I had had more experience with the parts of me who hadn’t passed than I did with the parts who had. By not passing, I was comfortable. Comfortable with good enough. Passing meant accepting and living as if I belonged and was worthy of the respect, opportunities and yes, the envy of those with whom I’d be in professional accord.
Becoming licensed meant tolerating all the good parts of myself I had accepted in a more cerebral understanding, but I had not experienced ENOUGH of the more visceral acceptance. I knew I deserved to be counted amongst those whom I consider to be answering a higher calling than just a job or career. Once I (along with my awesome therapist) challenged my own understanding of my achieved self-worth, I allowed myself to viscerally experience what I needed to express.
I approached “studying” in MY own way and focused much more on self-care rather than the details of exam material. I paid attention to what I needed to FEEL secure and confident in myself EVEN IF I DIDN’T PASS AGAIN, and that last time, I passed.
I’m telling you that I absolutely had to practice feeling like I deserved to pass, because once on the “other side” of it, THOSE parts of me that were so comfortable prior to passing have absolutely no place on this side. Do what you need to do to let go of those comfortable but antiquated parts of yourself that are trying so hard to stay relevant and keeping you from realizing your dream! Those parts were good to you for a long time, but it’s time to let go or be dragged!
Helping people rebuild themselves one session at a time. I want to be the last Therapsit you see.
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