” I don’t see how that’s any business of yours !”… went the very memorable line from the inimitable RuPaul on a recent Graham Norton show.
Now, I don’t imagine there’s too many therapists quoting in sessions this doyenne of put downs ! But there I was thinking exactly that this was the phrase my client ‘ should ‘ employ in a repeated confrontation that distressed him. If not RuPaul, maybe channeling the Dowager Countess of Grantham would work – with her classy one-liners !
Of course, some of us can find permission giving to oneself to ‘ confront’ so very difficult. It’s just ‘not me’, is the frequent response. Or ‘ How could I?’, ‘What would people think?’, ‘Oh never in a month of Sundays!’
The mere suggestion of doing something ‘ out of character’ can be freeing , allowing the consideration of change , an exploration of options, and even if they remain for the time-being in the realm of possibility, the seed of change has been sown.
Counselling, at least as I understand my role, can at times encourage the propagation of new experiences of the self. In an authentic, transparent and sometimes challenging way, the therapist introduces opportunities to uncover, discover or recover , aspects of the self that may have been lost, disavowed or never experienced. The ‘ activity’ of the therapist isn’t about leading the client into some uncharted territory where ‘change’ is guaranteed or required, but it is about holding the process of transformation as open and available, if desired. That I will be a companion in that is offered in the full knowledge that at some point we will part company and you may go it alone or find others to accompany you.
Change, and especially ‘personal change’ often involves loss, giving up or giving away something that we have held on to – for good or ill. The reality is that we can often choose to cling to the familiar and ‘ comfortable ‘ while so wanting things to be otherwise. Loss of ‘ face’, fear of disapproval can be such powerful anchors holding us back. Focusing on the past, or getting caught up in our heads about what others may think about us, leads to the traps of ‘optionless’ thinking, negativity and ‘stuckness’. And as I imagine RuPaul might say to those who would hold us back from fulfillment and our ‘better self’, just ‘Sashay away ‘!