Thursday, January 30, 2014


So I have this awesome counselor who I see every week and I've been seeing her for a while now. She's good; her words are wise and most importantly she gets me. If you've ever had a bad Counselor (and there are plenty) then you genuinely appreciate a good one. Sadly I think a lot of people meet with one bad Counselor and that's the end of it for them. Counseling can be good--very good.
Counselor: I want you to go home and open up your computer to Word or whatever program you use and start typing out all your hurts, beginning with the most recent ones and going back as far as you can remember to childhood.
Geez!! So I admit that I put this assignment off all week because I was dreading it! Finally, the day before I was to see her again--I did it. She was right. It wasn't nearly as long as I thought it was going to be and a lot of it was repetitive. I followed the rules; I never looked up at the screen, even when I knew I made typos and that was really HARD for me. At the end, I did exactly as she said and I closed it out. Gone! I can't say that I felt anything different immediately afterward but perhaps a little lighter as the days went on. She was proud of me for doing it...and maybe a little surprised. :)
This assignment along with many conversations her and I have had has gotten me thinking about the amount of time I have WASTED in my life trying to figure out WHY. When a friendship has gone sour or someone I really care about has hurt me; I have spent hours analyzing the situation, trying to figure out where it went wrong, what I could have said or done, etc. It has been such a solid waste of my time and is truly one of my greatest regrets. I feel so strongly about this that if I were on my death bed and allowed only one piece of advice to leave with my children, it would be this:
"When you have done wrong and you know you have done wrong, you own it and you make amends. However, when a relationship ends and you don't know why and you're certain you didn't do anything to hurt that person, then you let it go. You walk away. Don't waste one minute worrying about it or trying to figure out WHY. You can't; it's impossible because you can't get into another person's brain! And there is SO much better use of your limited, valuable time on this Earth--like being of service to others. Don't make the same mistakes mommy made and don't waste your precious time on WHY!"
Man I wish I had learned that one a looong time ago!

Anyway, we were talking last week about some of my unresolved issues which she views as "anger" in me and I didn't disagree. But then she explained to be that anger is really hurt. I didn't get it? So she went on to explain that anger is never the base problem. It is always a reaction from being hurt, so the HURT is the real problem. I thought it was an interesting theory and definitely worth thinking over. So she gave me this homework assignment. (She always gives me a homework assignment) and this is how it went:

Me: Okay, but that's gonna be a long document!
Counselor: It won't be as long as you think--a lot of it will be repetitive.
Me: Okay.
Counselor: Here's the rule though; no looking up at the screen as you type. We don't care about typos or anything like that. You just type away until you literally can't type anymore--until you can't remember one more hurt.
Me: Okay.
Counselor: And then, I want you to go up to the top of the screen and hit that little red box to close the document out without saving it.
Me: Wait--what? Can I read it first?
Counselor: No.
Me: Why not?
Counselor: Do you stare at your vomit? Because that's what this is. You are purging.
Me: I know but I really value my writing and if I'm gonna put that much time and effort into something, it's really hard for me to imagine just deleting it.
Counselor: Well that's what you're gonna do.
Me: How about if I print just one copy for you to read?
Counselor: No.
Me: Okay, how about if I print it out and promise not to read it and then I burn it in the fireplace?
Counselor: (Laughing) No. And we will talk about your control issues later...


  1. That's funny bc I jus saw this quote last night that went something like this, "hurt is just anger stretched thin." They are one and the same!
    I'm so proud of you for doing the hard work and the assignments that seem to contradict our instincts to hold on to hurt. Hard work!!