Seeing the goodness.

Lately, I’ve really been considering the balance of all this therapy business.  What I mean is. . .with all this talk about hard stuff, and secret stuff and shameful stuff, where’s the carrot, the reward, the freakin’ light at the end of the tunnel?  To put it a little more bluntly; What’s all this soul-searching, deep-emotional-diving, good for?

Good questions.  Sometimes we lose sight of the Why behind our search for Self, for Love, for Connection, for (you fill in the blank).  And for me, I keep coming back to this: I want to increase my capacity for Joy and Love and that inner-smile that feels so damn good because it’s honest.  That’s my carrot, my reward and the reason for doing the deep-emotional-dive. And I’m re-learning and remembering how important it is to strengthen these parts of myself too.  The parts of my Self in this moment that feel Joy and Love and the inner smile that comes from making a real Connection to myself and others.

As important as it is to increase our tolerance for the icky, not so good or pretty feelings, it’s just as important to remember that you also have access to the other side of the emotional spectrum; the good stuff, the sweet and happy places.  So, some of you readers out there may think that this side of things is all hoo-ha and B.S.  And I hear you.  For some people, there have been way more facts to support a mind and heart that are negatively biased.  I get it.  Better to be prepared for the worst than expect the best (because who wants that kind of let down, right?!).

But here’s the thing. . .what do you think happens to the part of you that wants to smile from the inside if the Debbie Downer in you shows up every time a smile starts to hint its way to the corners of your eyes and mouth?  Well, the smile that gets shut down repeatedly may eventually get so far away from us that it’s hard to find and access.

So, what to do?  Well, first and foremost, don’t bullshit yourself.  I don’t believe in positive self-talk that ignores real life hardships.  You can’t sugar coat B.S. for very long before it starts smelling really bad.  What you can do, however, is start small.  Start with one good thing that you can recognize in You, Right Now.  It can be as simple as, “I really like my toe nail polish” or “I really like the shape of my eyes”.  Start simple and believable. Start there and practice it every day.  And then see what happens.  And if it feels right, practice this on someone close to you.  What is something Good, Beautiful or Admirable about them?  And then take it further, can you see the goodness in someone you don’t know?  Or more challenging still, can you see the goodness in someone who you have a really hard time with?  Again, start small, believable and start with You. The more you practice seeing the goodness in yourself, the more capable you are of seeing the goodness around you.

“It never hurts to see the good in someone.  They often act the better because of it”. ~Nelson Mandela

Happy Sunday. . .with love and kindness, Amber


Author: Santa Fe Art Therapy & Counseling

I have a private practice in Santa Fe, NM where I offer online, art therapy and counseling services. My focus is working with people who have a recent or life-long history of trauma and stress. I use a blend of EMDR, talk therapy, art therapy and body-centered mindfulness practices.

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