Nobody really enjoys their pain and suffering. But sometimes, that's all they've ever known. It's normal and almost a comfort. Life without pain means taking on a new identity. A new way of interacting with the world. What could it involve? Uncertainty. Not knowing. That's scary.
Exploring pain with clients is one thing. There's often multiple touchpoints and the body is offering a whole lifetime worth of symptoms.
But what about exploring health? What about exploring potential? Dreams and hope? Desires? Longings? Creative genius?
The real thing i'm interested in, is what does health look like to them as an individual? Do they have an idea? Do they want health?
When I ask, usually they say yes. I have had a few clients who say truthfully, no, they're not ready to get better. Getting better is a really big shift for them. It doesn't take many sessions and usually they arrive at a healthier wisdom. It's not my job to tell clients what they should want. I don't assume. I just ask.
If a client says they do want health, they want to heal. Then I ask them what it looks like for them, to be healed.
That's when it gets interesting.
Often clients reply and say they don't know. Or for them it means, not being ill anymore. Or not being in pain. Or being able to do [insert basic action, emotion]. Or simply, not hating themselves.
They're big deals. But they're not dreams. They're certainly not the potential that I see in my clients. I invite them to dig a little deeper.
Often they're too frightened to say what they really want. They've never really been allowed and sometimes they've been shut down or ridiculed. Often they're just confused. Other times, they're worried they'll get what they want and then sabotage it shortly after. Or that, it will somehow disappear from their grasp nd they'll be back where they started. Collapsed.
It's all fair enough. It's all human enough. But if we don't know how we want to feel, how does our body know how to give us that feeling? How do the people around us know how to treat us and meet us if we don't know how we want to feel?
Dream. Please. Dare to have a dream.
If you really want to heal then dare to dream. Dream bigger than you ever have before. What does you at your full and healthy vibrant potential feel like? Look like? Sound like? Act like? If the image is hard to grasp, or you've never known health, love or safety as is frequently the case for clients I work with, let your dreams develop more vibrantly each day. Grow them and feed them until they're a giant snowball, a fantasy of wellbeing, health and life force.
And then bring me your dreams and your fantasies. You can also bring me your sickness and illness. But also, bring me your dreams.
You get what you ask for.