I’m not really ready to blog about this morning’s session. I’m holding it close, and working through it mentally. I don’t feel prepared to write about it yet. I went straight from counselling to a meeting and then to work and another meeting and so I need time. I need time with this morning’s session.
But I did want to share this with you. About midway through, I was trying to hard to connect to myself and feeling frustrated. Feeling overwhelmed. Feeling like I was failing at letting those emotions in, and out. We were talking about different emotion metaphors and I was curled up in a ball on the couch and alternating between hyperventilating and holding my breath all as A tried to get me to breathe and be aware that I don’t HAVE to have a meltdown, I can just stay connected and stay with the emotions, observe them. I don’t always have to get overwhelmingly close. I was not doing okay, and she told me “the fact that you are resisting the shit out of me right now is a sign we are connecting. It’s okay, we can meet where you are.” We were relatively quiet for a few minutes, and she said:
“PD, can I read something to you? I would really like to read to you right now. What I have to share, I think it may be helpful. You love to write, and you love words. I know that you don’t feel good right now, and I think it may be helpful. May I read something to you?”
I nodded. “Yes.” I sounded so small to myself.
“I need you to look at me though, I’d like us to connect. Can you look at me while I read? You don’t have to talk. Just listen.”
I nodded. And she read this, looking up and smiling at me reassuringly between each phrase.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks
Her mannerisms, her voice, Rumi’s words, the idea of letting the emotions into my house, my body, as “guests” – it was what I needed to hear to come back into myself.
It was quite possibly the most beautiful, poignant, and connected moment I have ever experienced with a therapist. And what happened after was perfect.