Everyone and I mean everyone who seeks marriage counseling wants goals. Its normal and part of the therapy process to have certain expectations around the purpose of counseling. Timing is a bigger issue, more important than setting goals, in the beginning. Understanding timing and knowing when to make a move is crucial to having the most impact in your life.
I recently attended EMDR training for PTSD other trauma resolution. While I sat at in class, I noticed how much I had forgotten about my own goals and reasons for becoming a therapist . This journey began about 30 years ago. I continue to feel inspired about my passion for therapy. Like my clients, I too have felt the anxiety and pressure to be ahead of where I am, to establish goals. I have looked down the road of life, envisioning myself helping others find their peace. I have compassion for my clients who are feeling pain, angst, and anxiety as they go through life’s challenges, sometimes with nothing but hope, without a plan. My life lessons over the last 40 years have influenced my expectations. I can relate to the not knowing, the frustration, the worry, and the fear.
A good friend shared this quote with me, but I don’t know the original author, “Everything will be ok in the end, if its not ok, it’s not the end.” As simple as that is, it’s true! The process of being able to help people find peace, love, and joy has been challenging, but it’s worth every lesson in every moment. The recent training reminded me of my own passion, goals, and visions I have had for myself. Looking back, I wasn’t able to make those goals a reality all at once. It has taken time, has included fragments of inspiration, inclusion of new ideas, and lots of waiting and praying. When the opportunities to make parts of this dream come to life presented themselves, I was ready to step in, learn, and fail or succeed.
I have such gratitude for my teachers and those who lead me when I was too afraid. I’m even more grateful for the times of disappointment, when I thought the thing I wanted to happen wouldn’t happen. Because it wasn’t for me or for the plan, although I didn’t know it at the time.
Marriage, family, friends; all these relationships provide similar disappointments and opportunities. For all the times you’ve felt lost, hurt, worried, and afraid…take heart, that you’ll be okay. You can learn, grow, and feel fulfilled even in the empty moments of your life. It’s part of the journey and the missing parts of your map.