The manual
April 19, 2012 by
Categories: Coping, Hanging on

I, like you, have found myself grasping for the ever elusive life manual. What exactly am I referring to? I am referring to the neatly organized binder (complete with a table of contents and color-coded tabs) that contains the answers to every situation that life will ever present you with.

I’m sure that by now you have figured out that such a manual does not exist. This discovery can be liberating to some people in that we are free to make our own decisions and live with whatever consequences (good or bad) that  result. For others, this discovery can be devastating. There are many situations that seem impossible to get through (like the decision to end a relationship or a major health care decision) without such a manual.

So what do we do when we are confronted with a situation that seems to require the manual? I have observed that we do one of the following: (a) we do the best that we can, (b) we ask someone else to tell us what to do, and/or (c) we throw up our hands in frustration and defeat.

In the therapy room, I have been asked by my clients to tell them what to do. These are some of the best and hardest moments for me as a therapist. I view them as the best moments in that I recognize the level of trust that my client has placed in the relationship that we share. They are the hardest moments in that I cannot tell my clients what to do. Although, I want so desperately to be able to provide the answer that will make life better. I, like you, am human and am faced with all of the uncertainty that you are faced with on a daily basis. However, as a therapist, I possess a skill set that I can use to sit with you and process the situation and the associated feelings of frustration/desperation/anger or whatever else it is that you are facing.

Trust me when I tell you that I have experienced many moments in which I wish that there was a life manual. What are some of the moments when you have wished and reached for the life manual?




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6 Thoughts About The manual

  • Audrey
    April 19, 2012 at 9:14 am Reply

    when I was faced with the decision of whether or not to divorce my husband, I really wished there was a manual.

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