Famous philosopher Alan Watts was quoted saying “in madness lies sanity” when speaking about love, but like most phrases it is up for interpretation. I hear it as in times of chaos there is always breath and it is with breath we start to find a way to get through it.
This past week has been filled with much madness and I keep trying to find the sanity. What has helped me is looking to others that navigate uncertainty and stress with a sense of calm. I have always said that becoming a therapist was driven out of selfishness. I was drawn to learning and growing from other people’s journeys and felt that my happiness was connected to being a witness to that. With that said I have reflected back on my sessions and on individual client stories the last seven days as a way to slow down and be mindful.
I’ve noticed on social media that there is a tremendous amount of judgment and people telling others what to do. That inspired me to want to do the opposite. I recognized that I honestly do not have a roadmap for how to manage this time. I do not really know what to tell my kids about the future, and I spend far too much time in the “what ifs” of life. I wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to fall back asleep, as my brain winds into a litany of scenarios. When I looked at my bracelet that has the Watts’ quote inscribed on it, it finally hit me that I have to accept I do not have the answers. I remembered that I do best when my mind is more curious and open than anxious and rigid. With that, I began to think about those around me that have exhibited courage and strength during trying times.
Those people are mostly my clients. That realization made me want to write this blog and thank all of you. Over the years I have been so incredibly humbled by my clients willingness to share their traumas and to be vulnerable in their stories. So many of you have come to therapy asking for help and yet often it is you that finds your sanity not me. I think about how you all have overcome really difficult times of loss and suffering and how brave you all have been.
So for me I am choosing to look to your stories and learn from your strength. I am also paying attention to the people around me that have the energy that brings me calm. There is always someone that has been there before and that can serve as my North Star. Sometimes it is the person that hasn’t been there before, but has an outlook that serves me right now. Whether it is one of my kids being creative and full of humor under lockdown, a client turning bad news into an opportunity to be daring on the slopes, or my shelter pups loving all the extra attention and walks, I am going to lean into them for my sanity during this madness.
I hope all of you stay healthy and safe. Feel free to share with me your stories of those that are inspiring you to get through this time. Kateschneider@purehealthcenter.com