At the end of 2019 I emailed all my clients to say a heartfelt thank you, which I want to expand on.
My life is so enriched through my private practice, and that enrichment is almost entirely based on my relationship with you, because of the courage you have in showing up while I hold space for you. Incredible insights and transformations happen in this space for both you and me, which is the ultimate reward.
Speaking of reward, I need to share this funny story with you about something Tina Fey said. She was talking to Jerry Seinfeld in his Netflix series “Comedians riding in cars getting coffee”. They were chatting and Jerry says to Tina “you enjoy eating things you’re not meant to eat cause it’s like little mini vacations in your stressful day”. Then Tina replies with “and that’s why when I win an Emmy, and I’d be like what’s my food treat gonna be? The Emmy was not my treat…the ONLYreward for anything is food”.
Yep, I’m totally with her. I don’t drink, never have, BUT I do love chocolate and I like participating in good times, so when we go out or to a friends house and everyone’s involved in some form of intoxication, out comes the chocolate I bought with me, or I’m doing a chocolate run to the local supermarket/corner store that has chocolate because hello Cadbury Dairy Milk. If I’ve prepared in advance – like for a special occasion, it’s Haighs all the way – Milk Mango Fruit! OMG do yourself a favour, these double dipped handmade chocolates are the ultimate reward!
On occasion my wife comes home saying “I got you something” and the first words out of my mouth EVERY. SINGLE. TIME are “Can I eat it?” Again. Ultimate reward.
It’s a short lived reward though. Momentary. And totally worth it.
My ultimate reward is the enrichment you bring to my life because that’s long lasting and just grows stronger the more I work with you. Unlike chocolate that loses its … the more you eat of it.
Here’s the expanded version of the email of topic.
You enrich my life. Yes, YOU.
Every single one of you in your own unique way, and I am overflowing with appreciation for you.
- Your uniqueness is golden and you probably don’t know that about yourself. You want to fit in with the crowd to be accepted, but anyone can do that. It takes way more courage to be your own person…and to live that.
Thank you for inviting me into your life.
- This also takes courage. To willingly and purposefully open yourself up to another being.
Thank you for giving me permission to see you.
- On some level, we all want to be seen. You arrive with tremendous courage and permission for me to see you. I see you, all of you. We need to so we can relate to others. The more we allow ourselves to be seen, the more connected we can be in a meaningful way. This is why therapy with a skilled practitioner feels a bit glorious. Magic happens in being seen. It is only when we are seen through the eyes of another that we can see ourselves.
Thank you for showing me the most precious parts of you, often hidden inside.
I want to know you, who you really are.
Show me the preciousness in the depths of you.
Pour your story on me, let me drink it in.
Who are you when you’ve surrendered your weapons and are soft?
I want to know the wounds of your heart, where it’s been broken and where it’s been cracked wide open.
Show me who you fear I’ll turn away from, not realising this is who I most want to see.
Stand before me in grace and let me know you.
- What I’ve learnt is that most people fear who they are underneath, that the pain and stress they visibly carry is them at their core. I can tell you, I’ve never ever met a person whose very centre was hard. There’s always a softness and lightness in some form or another, along with a stability and centeredness. It’s the layers of baggage we lug around on the exterior you mistake yourself to be.
- I see beneath the veneer, the fortress, the anxiety, the anger. I see the preciousness that is you because below it you are not anger, you are not anxiety, you are not fear. You have so much goodness in you, so much more to you, and when we find that goodness together, we make space for it in your life over and over again.
Thank you for your commitment, willingness and courage to show up. You showed up! That’s powerful. You are powerful.
- Locking your inner world away is easy. Showing up is hard. You could live the same old way for years, or the rest of your life, but you know there’s something better and you’re willing to show up to discover what that is. Your willingness to explore the unknown is maybe even more powerful. You are brave and I adore you for that.
Thank you for honouring yourself by showing up. You are absolutely deserving and worthy.
- Oh my gosh you are worthy! Thank you for honouring yourself. For giving to yourself. For committing to your own needs and wellbeing. You are the only person who can truly do this. Thank you for showing up.
Thank you for being real and authentic. I love this about you.
- When the outer layers dissolve, the authentic you is visible. You, in all your glory, all the preciousness you hid inside for so long is here and I want to celebrate that with you and show you how much more incredible you are when you’re authentic. Show me how the world makes sense to you, not anyone else. Just you.
Thank you for being vulnerable. You can’t be the above without it, and it’s here we discover the preciousness in you.
- Vulnerability is so, so beautiful. Brene Brown studies vulnerability and shame so I’ll let her words on vulnerability and authenticity speak to you:
- “Vulnerability; it’s the last thing I want you to see in me and the first thing I look for in you”
- “Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage”
- True Belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are”.
Thank you for opening my eyes and heart every time I see you.
- You crack me open in the best way. I’m in awe of you and through the process of knowing you, I learn so much about the human condition – more than I could ever know from only my experience. So much appreciation.
I am deeply touched to hold a space for you, to meet you where you are and to know you; I have a deep desire to know you and my life is so enriched because of you. I am where I belong, and it is because of you. Thank you.
- Holding space for you is my favourite past time. There’s many elements that go into this; creating the tone and pace, listening and attuning to you, affirming and acknowledging you, giving you space to explore who you are and reflecting those gifts back to you.
It’s not just therapists who provide a safe space for you to be held. Any type of practitioner can foster this environment to honour you to feel deeply seen, heard, felt, held and celebrated. I have had, and continue to have, practitioners who have provided this; that’s mostly where I learnt it and it’s so very precious to me. When you seek out your practitioners, please let this be your foundation.