You are Constantly Changing and That's OK...

You are Constantly Changing and That's OK...

I often hear people say, "The years are passing so fast" or "That meeting dragged on" or "I didn't realize I had gotten older until I went to my high school reunion!" and it's amazing to consider that, even though there are always the same 24 hours in day, how we think and feel about the days gone by is constantly changing and evolving, and we are changing and evolving, too. When we consider our "life story" and start at the beginning, some memories may be fuzzy, some memories may be vivid, and we have certain memories that mean more to us because something about them feels very important to the development of who we are and how we feel about the world around us. Sometimes, when we think about certain life events at different times, 1 year later, 5 years later, even 20 years later or more, we can feel differently about those same events. But, why is that? It's because we are making tiny internal changes, recalibrating ourselves in a way, as we choose how we interact with the world every day and time continues to march on. And life events can mean something different, once you are looking at it from a particular stage of your life.

Here's an example of the power of reflection and honoring your ability to evolve and change with time:  I once knew a man who was so wrapped up in grief over the loss of his wife when I first met him, but he didn't want to talk about any memories of her. He would only say, "I lost the love of my life, we were together for over 50 years." In part, he didn't want to say more because it was too painful, but he also told me that he didn't see the point, since I was never going to meet her. Instead, when we would meet, he stayed focused on talking about the recent events of his life, daily chores and errands, meals he liked or didn't like, sports games he watched, his health, and I noticed how lonely he seemed after losing his life partner. He was still a very funny, smart and kind person, and I told him that I thought it was sad that he had chosen to isolate himself from the world so much. As time passed, he started to share spontaneous memories of his wife, and while some were sad, like the memories of her last days and memorial service, most were surprisingly joyful and made him laugh through the tears. He gained so much relief and became excited once he decided to start sharing the memories of her with me, and with that release, he began to feel more hopeful, recognizing that he still had time to make new happy memories with other people. He didn't need to stay frozen in grief to prove that he had been a good husband. He could remember doing loving things for her, raising their children together, celebrating happy times, and sorting through the tough times together. He decided that the best way that he could honor her was by reconnecting with his children and old friends, being open to making new friends and continuing to explore and learn about the world. After a year of us meeting together, he said that he felt like he had a new lease on life, that he wasn't going to forget his past but he wasn't going to stay trapped in it either. He was choosing to bolster himself with the love he had shared with his wife and that was how he was able to rediscover joy. 

Is It Time to Give Therapy a Try?

Helping the Helpers... "But, I have to be strong for everyone else!"

Helping the Helpers... "But, I have to be strong for everyone else!"