When I read your blog Joanna, my thoughts spiralled off in all kinds of directions - Thoughts about how it feels to spend any length of time with people you cannot be your true self with, it's a feeling I know well, in the past I would've felt bad about it, berated myself, longed to fit in and be like them, even further in he past others would've been disappointed and ashamed of me, asking me in a disdainful tone "why can't you just be like them?". Thoughts about "coincidences" the type that is just what we need at a particular time, and about the views of processwork (process oriented psychology), which believes that most coincidences are not coincidence at all, and feeling pleased that from all of those books on my "intend to read when I find time" shelf in the bookcase, that on Friday evening I picked up a processwork based book, by Arnold Mindell, to start reading now that I have a little more time. And thoughts about my living space, which at the point when I terminated therapy last November, I really wanted to transform into something that was more of a reflection of who I am and the things that energise me, that I had lost the urge to do in recent months, and that has returned with a vengeance in the last few days.
I went to make myself a cup of tea to allow all these thoughts to settle and find some clarity, returning with a warm drink, and a recollection, a fond memory, of something that happened in my final therapy session, just minutes before we said our last goodbyes...when my therapist was saying some kind, things about what it was like to be in relationship with me, and how she thought others I share relationships with probably felt the same, and I said something about myself just being an ordinary, normal, person, and she said "you know you're not" and I conceded "okay, maybe not" and we both laughed. It had kind of been a theme in my therapy my wanting to just be average, stereotypical, "normal" and fit in with everyone else in the world, and her trying to convince me to learn to be accepting of who I am, and to start viewing my differences as positive, as something that I could share with others for the greater good.
And so what opens me up is allowing myself to be my authentic self and not feeling the need to bow to the pressures of those around me, or those of society in general, allowing myself to feel proud and happy to be who I am, and excited to pursue the things that make me feel energised and alive. And what I hope to do is transform my living space from a home that could belong to anyone, (so many people have similar furnishings and similar wall décor to mine, sometimes I see photos on friends' FB pages that could have been taken in this house even though they were taken in someone else's) into something that is "mine" that reflects my individuality, my uniqueness, and that sense of aliveness I feel when I am opened up in this way - and that will hopefully have the impact of allowing and encouraging this authentic self to be present more of the time