Okay, I have a confession…
I looooove my therapist, and although I know you’re not really supposed to, I’m always trying to ask questions to get to know more about her. I’m so curious! Needless to say, she never takes the bait. One such example:
Me: “How was your Thanksgiving?”
Her: “Fine, thank you.”
Me, desperate for info: “What Thanksgiving foods do you like?”
Her: “Ahh, you know, the classics.”
But you can’t blame me for it because she’s a genius. During our sessions, she’s offered such thoughtful words of wisdom, I often feel like I’m hearing the answer to a riddle. The phrase she shared that has helped the most?
BOTH THINGS CAN BE TRUE.
Right before she said this, I’d been describing a stressful parenting situation and kept interrupting myself to say, “But I really, really, really, really, really love my kids.” Finally, she said, “Joanna, it’s okay, you can find parenting overwhelming AND love your kids. Two things can be true.”
Since then, the concept has come to mind many times. When my stepfather died, I was relieved that he could finally rest AND heartbroken that he was gone. When we laughed at my mom’s house after his funeral, I realized that we could celebrate his life AND mourn his death. Whenever I’ve spent an evening or weekend alone, I’ve enjoyed the quiet AND missed the noise of my children. When I think back on new parenthood, I remembered desperately craving sleep AND feeling my heart explode every time I looked at my baby.
So! Have you ever been to therapy? What’s something helpful a therapist has told you? Eager to hear these special nuggets.
This song also makes me laugh:
P.S. The Grand Canyon trick that has helped a million times, five ways to be a better listener, and what are your core values?
(Photo by Alba Vitta/Stocksy.)