April 26, 2012 by
Categories: Emotions, Relationships

I often take great meaning from the music that I listen to. Sometimes I find a song that resonates with me on a special level. This week I have been listening to a song entitled “I Love, You Love” by John Legend. It is simple and powerful. The lyrics ring true for me. It is a profession of love…something that I/we are so often scared to say to the people who mean the most to us (not just on a romantic level).

“Give anything you like, and I’ll give understanding, life’s so demanding…”

-John Legend

I consider myself to be an expressive person. I try my best to capitalize on every opportunity that I am presented with to tell my family and friends just how much they mean to me.

However, I occasionally experience moments in which I find myself unable to say what I really want to say. Most of these moments are centered on the discussion of something unpleasant (admitting that I made a mistake or revealing that I perceived a comment as hurtful). Other times, these moments prevent me from expressing something truly positive and beautiful (an acknowledgement of an appreciated moment or a compliment).

I have invested a great deal of time reflecting on these moments. What I have come to realize is that they are the result of fear. Primarily a fear of being vulnerable, of appearing foolish, and/or of not having the expression reciprocated.

One of the benefits of being a therapist is that I have learned that we all struggle with these moments. I often hear what it is that people really want to say to the people who they care so deeply for but are unable to say. For some reason, the therapy room is a sanctuary. A place where we can share our most vulnerable thoughts and feelings.

What is it that makes the therapy room a sanctuary? I believe it to be the trust and unconditional acceptance that the space offers. This trust and acceptance does not develop overnight. It requires patience and experience which is fostered over the course of multiple sessions.

I believe this process to be very similar for the relationships that we have outside of the therapy room. Relationships require patience and experience. We need to experience moments of trust and unconditional acceptance in order to share more and more of ourselves. The trick is that we can only experience these moments when we say what we want to say…which requires us to take a risk.

Saying what we want to say will not always turn out the way that we desire and we will be hurt.

Sometimes though…saying what we want to say will create a memory that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

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