Monday, January 3, 2011

Donuts and the Truth

If you don't want the truth... don't ask me. If you want something sugarcoated... go eat a donut.

Today while surfing online I read a post that struck me. It really got me thinking... do we want to hear the truth when we come to a counselor looking for support? Or are we just there to have someone reinforce our own point of view? Are we looking for truth or validation?

Personally, I think we attend counseling to allow another to tell us the truth. It may be the awful truth... it may be something we'd rather not hear... but in the end what we really desire is for someone... anyone... to finally be 100% honest with us.

Why do I think that is the case? Because for many of us we have been deceived and manipulated by others for so long that we doubt our ability to discern the truth. We have lost our innate trust in our own gut.

It may have happened when we were kids and our parents refused to discuss the elephant in the room... an alcoholic or abusive parent or sibling for example... and we began to believe that somehow we were wrong. We saw that elephant... didn't they? Why wouldn't they talk to us about it? Why did they insist it wasn't there? Were we unable to properly distinguish reality? They are big... we are small... they know what's real... we don't. We are scared by this difference in perception. In order to feel safe we decide to believe they are right.

Here we are... many years later. We try to select a partner with whom to create a life. We pick someone who "feels right". All goes well at first... we then discover we have chosen a person who mirrors some of the same dysfunction we experienced in our childhoods. It "felt right" because as dysfunctional as our childhoods may have been... it's comfortable... familiar.

Years pass and we and our partner drift apart. We come to counseling and we vent... we cry... we allow ourselves to be seen in all our pain. We want answers. We want someone... anyone... to finally tell us why this happened in our relationship.

Finally we begin to see the truth. We are told something in counseling that infuriates us and realize we are still reacting to the same old pain. Sometimes we read a book and see ourselves in a new light. Sometimes others situations are similar and we learn from their wisdom. However it happens... we learn more about ourselves through the process.

In the end we come through the experience with new wisdom... an inner strength we never knew existed... and discover serenity and acceptance.

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