inner self

Fully Equipped

Recently my tire light popped up on my dashboard. I had air placed in the tire. I think my anxiety level dropped just as quickly as the warning light went off when air was placed in the tire. I feel like there is not an inch of road or highway without some sort of construction on it so, I assumed it was a nail. The tenant said it was a slow leak, which, in my non-car professional opinion, meant I could go about my day-to-day without worry. Well, two weeks went by until the air light came on again. Ugh. This time, I knew I shouldn’t wait. I took my car in and, sure enough, there was a huge nail in it. I had 3 choices: One, put air in my tire and go about my day again…until. Two, just keep driving until…Three, replace or patch the tire for good. By choosing the third option, the source of what was causing the tire to lose air was found.This little ordeal reminds me a lot of how we as human beings work. Although we do not have an active warning light telling us something is wrong or when to ‘seek help immediately’, if we listen to our inner selves closely enough, we’ll discover the issues that need to be addressed. Those issues could manifest through physical, emotional, or mental pain, headaches, shallow breathing, over/under eating, lack of sleep, digestion issues, etc. Emotionally we could feel worn out, depressed, extremely sad, rageful, or distant. In our relationships, the unaddressed needs could cause withdrawing from our partner, disinterest in sex, lashing outbursts or disengagement. Our bodies are notorious for giving us signals to slow down, take a breath, or to talk with someone. Through the exploration of this self-awareness, creating the change we want is possible if we address the source of what is causing our pain.Anne Lamott, in Traveling Mercies, wrote, “It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox, full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools—friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty—and said, 'Do the best you can with these, they will have to do.' And mostly, against all odds, they’re enough.”I believe that this is the core of therapy. To help a person see the tools he or she has already obtained simply through living their life. Maybe the tools haven’t been used in a while (or ever) - a therapist can show you how to use them. Maybe you’re interested in using a new approach to solving an issue or finding the source of where the issue lies - a therapist can help you discover the many ways your tools can be used to help stabilize balance or provide more strength as you wrestle with the issue. You are enough. Let a therapist help you gain perspective in your life. Therapy is a way of providing you with lenses to see your full self. Don’t ignore the inner warning lights your body is showing you. Address them head on. Your perspective might just change, and in the process, your relationship and self as well!