You know, I’m kinda liking this unfettered blogging. Since we moved to NC, I have been seeing only a handful of my Florida clients via Skype. These are folks with whom I have been working for a long time, and for whom it would have been sort of messy and discouraging to change therapists. The good thing about this yawning cavern of free time in my life is that I have extra moments lying about in spades to write, read and make endless amount of cookies with Gabe. However, I can’t help but feel a little at loose ends without sessions to attend and people to help. I mean, it’s what I do.
Today I was pondering how you know that the work that you do, whatever it is, is what you’re supposed to be doing. And, honestly, I don’t think that you have to be slogging away at something fancy or world-saving to find meaning in your job. I was quickly disabused of that notion by my sweet friend Marta, who cleaned my house for me while I was a studying for my doctoral degree. I asked Marta once (like the arrogant know-it-all most clinical graduate students are) if cleaning houses had always been what she wanted to do with her life. You can see where I’ m going with this–it hadn’t occurred to me that someone would want to commit herself to that. I assumed she must have been trapped into this by dire circumstance. But Marta told me that ever since she was a child, she had taken great pleasure in putting things in order. She said that she views what she does for her clients as a something therapuetic for them. Marta loved to go home and know that we were walking back into homes that were organized, clean and healthy. And, she got to own her own business and make her own hours. In other words, Marta is probably doing people as much good in her profession as I am in mine. Seriously, if anybody in Ft. Lauderdale needs a house tender, Marta is your gal.
If I am fortunate in anything in my life, it is that I know what my life’s work is supposed to be. I love being a therapist, and the idea of doing absolutely anything else is strange and terrifying. Do you know what you’re supposed to be doing? Here’s some questions to ask yourself as you’re on the path to discovery:
1) What would be different about your life if you loved your work?
2) If you journeyed into the forbidden territory of your best hopes for your life (the ones we don’t dare let ourselves entertain because they sound too far-fetched) what would you unearth?
3) What emotions do you need to clear about yourself before you can think critically about your future? (Regret, anxiety, self-loathing)
4) How can you reframe that best hope so that it or some part of it is possible? For instance, I considered going to school to be an OBGYN. Since I am interested in women’s issues I do postpartum counseling.
5) What skills do you need to develop to trust yourself to make new goals for the future?
Your Partner in Healing,