Jan 8, 2013

Spontaneous Therapy

I have to pick up my kids at school in 30 minutes, and will likely not have time to edit and ponder this like I probably should.  This is an experiment in spontaneity.

I saw my therapist (yep) today, and I came home frustrated.  It's not Trudy's fault.  It's mine.  Here's why.

We talked about my weaknesses.  I knew this was coming; last week we talked about my strengths and she warned me that today might not be so pleasant.  According to Trudy, figuring out who I am and what I want is this super-exciting journey full of wonder and amazement.  I can be whoever I want to be!  I can do whatever I choose!  

Guess what?  I don't want to change or discover or invent or whatever.  I'm a big fan of my comfort zone, thankyouverymuch, and my comfort zone involves doing exactly what I've been doing for forever.  I've spent almost a year experimenting with vulnerability, with opening up and sharing my heart and exposing my soul.  While it has been a teensy bit liberating, I mostly hate it.  Being vulnerable means having expectations that those you are vulnerable with will offer you what you need.  In my experience, that's a bunch of malarky (aren't you proud of me for saying something so benign?).

In my experience, sharing with people that I feel broken generally makes them feel sorry for me, and also think that I'm incapable of being a functional friend and human being.  I know I have quite a network of people who will listen to me on a bad day, or who will check on me when they know I'm in crisis, but there are very few (like two or three) who will call just to say "hey."  Or text ME when they are having a bad day.  Or ask me to watch their kids in an emergency.  Or check in just because.  Or invite me to something unrelated to church.  I realize I sound like a whiny teenager.

A couple of weeks ago I made a list of things I don't like about myself, otherwise known as "opportunities for growth" or plain old weaknesses.  Well, at the top of my list--not necessarily because it's my greatest fault, but because I thought of it first--is that I am slow to adapt to change.  (See paragraph four.)  I am the antithesis of spontaneous and carefree.  What I want to know is WHAT'S WRONG WITH BEING BORING?  I just don't get it.  So what if I don't like a scary movie?  So what if I don't like to fly by the seat of my pants?  So what if I crave order and cleanliness and never throw caution to the wind? Who likes wind anyway?

This week my homework assignment is to be spontaneous.  I laughed out loud when Trudy suggested that I be spontaneous by fixing my hair in a new way or taking a different route home from her office. She suggested that I spontaneously invite a friend to lunch or drop in on someone just to say hello.  Well, nothing about my life is spontaneous enough for all of THAT, but I did come home and pull back the bangs that were hanging in my eyes. Maybe I should take a picture of my bobby pin invention and print it out so I get a gold star in my chart next week.

And maybe next week we can talk about my significant overuse of sarcasm, which is second on my list of growth opportunities.
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