The World is Quiet Here - Lemony Snicket
These words were floating around my head a lot in April and May. I’m usually busy, but the day we were told to stay home was the last day of my work counselling for a local charity. While the ending was known and planned for, being unable to work face to face with clients in my private work was not. At a time when my ‘normal’ response was to keep moving forward to the ‘next thing’, I was forced to pause.
For me, having this enforced pause has brought with it some surprising positives (mostly down to only having adult children and a home that is safe). I know this is not the case for everyone; recognising how there is to be grateful for in my life has been important. Because of the quiet, I have been able to reflect on and evaluate my priorities; while testing if my actions matched up to them. Sometimes they did, but often they didn’t.
As the world is changing again, I have an opportunity to realign my actions and priorities. I can choose where to give time and energy to depending on what matters to me rather than where I feel it should go. Often, I ignored what was important to me because it didn’t feel like ‘the right time’ or prioritising myself seemed selfish. However, in a world where loss and change seem so prevalent, these reasons no longer feel good enough to put my dreams on hold. I know that as things change there will be pressure to go ‘back to normal’, but I am determined to live my truth.
To say no to others, so I can say yes to myself.
This statement would have been unspeakable before I trained as a counsellor and embarked on a journey of personal as well as professional development. However, I have learnt the tools that work for me, the activities and practices that help me stay true to myself. I wonder how hard it must be for others who don’t have spaces where they can explore what they want without fear of judgement.
So often, counselling is thought of as being for people in crisis or experiencing trauma, but we can all benefit from a space to explore who we are and what is important to us. A space to pause, reflect and choose. Counselling is the gift you give to yourself; it is the quite place in which you can speak your truth and be heard. Once you let your truth out into the world you can begin to make different choices and live the life you really want but didn’t think you could have. We can’t keep waiting for the right time because it doesn’t exist. We only have now.
It reminds me of another line from Lemony Snicket.