Albert Einstein said something to the effect that we can not solve our problems by using the same kind of thinking we used that created them. If we knew how to solve our problems ourselves, we would. Most of us have tried. We use the same kind of logic we learned in the past; we handle our emotions the same way we learned in the past; we take the same actions we learned in the past. And most of the time, we continue on the same path we have tread over and over--we defend, project, withdraw, attack, freeze, play dead, pretend, caretake, run away, medicate with something or someone, and hope it all gets better on it's own. Only, it never does. We just grow older in the same corn field.
With therapy, we learn that what we think and how we see things comes from the way we translate the outside situation. No one causes us to think or feel a certain way. We feel something based on how we think about something. We begin to take ownership of our inner thoughts and we learn that we have the ability to change the way we perceive situations. We begin to see that from our perceptions, feelings arise and we learn we can sit with feelings and not medicate, blow up, or run from them. We start to think better. We start to feel better. We start to act better.
And then, as we are able to see the way we think and we learn to sit with our feelings, we learn to see how others think and we learn to sit with their feelings. We learn we can actually hear someone and not take it personally. Hearing someone is an art form. It's not easy to do. But as we learn to connect deeply with the feelings of others, we connect with them on a level we have never before experienced. We realize all the hard work of learning to understand ourselves is worth it because we feel safe and supported on a very deep and fulfilling level.
Therapy isn't easy. It takes time and a sense of committment to point your finger inward instead of outward. In my experience, it's absolutely worth it, and it's the best gift I've given myself, my spouse, my children, and my grand children.
It's a beautiful journey.