One of my favorite things about being a therapist is that I can change things up, be different, unconventional. One simple way of doing that is that I love to meet at a park, greenway, wherever and take in the scenery during session. Who says you need a couch? Or a roof for that matter.
One thing I learned recently though is that you need to check the weather.
During a recent adventure out of the confines of the office and at a park I heard an interesting noise... like a woosh you only hear on movies. As my lovely walking partner and I soon realized, there was not just a light rain coming..... it was a monsoon! The perfect summer storm coming to wash away the heat and refresh the world with its power….. like almost every afternoon in Nashville these days! It was a surreal moment in time where you could literally watch across the lake as the wall of water was coming toward you. T minus 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... wham!!!
Now I am not the most laid back person in the world, and one thing I HATE is having wet hair (and I guess clothes for that matter).
Perspective though friends. The weather in Nashville is warm, we were hot from walking, it was fun! Instantly we were 8 years old again running from the rain and laughing, succumbing to the inevitable fate that could not be changed. I was going to have wet hair, be dripping wet, and apologizing for such an unconventional session.
When I starting thinking about the significance of this event and ENJOYING the perspective I found in this moment I could think about another time in my life when I had to work much harder to find the same perspective.
Several years ago in graduate school our class let out and I got in my car to start my 1 hour commute home. I pulled out of the parking lot at nearly 9 pm and was making a left hand turn to the road that led me to the interstate. I had been on campus long enough, and it was a bitter and cold day, and my window had iced. At the stop sign I rolled my window down to look for oncoming traffic and safely make the turn. I causally went to roll up the window of the car and IT DID NOT BUDGE. Much to my dismay no matter what I tried the window would not go up. And I had an hour left on the interstate in freezing cold, spitting rain and sleet.... with the window down???. I frantically called my husband (because he is magic and can fix it over the phone... right?) and got the answer I did not want to hear, but was the only logical one…. "Well.... what do you want me to do about it?"
So, I put on my big girl pants, wrapped my scarf around my hands on the steering wheel, turned up the heat and my favorite radio station and made the trek home. My eyes watered, my hands froze, and all for the sake of perspective, my heart warmed. During my trip I thought of those who were unable to return to a warm house after a cold night, of those who's troubles were bigger than a broken window.
I arrived home, to an open garage door, and warm hot chocolate and a terrified husband. When I simply got out of the car laughing and telling him how thankful I was for my blessings I might have scared him more than if I had had the perspective of anger. "Are you alright?", he asked, "I was not expecting you to be laughing."
I wish I could say that I always have these giggling, thankful, perspectives, but I don't. If anything they are much more the minority. But, hardly any of us do.
We can not control the rain on a walk, a broken window, or the temperature outside any more than we can control the tragedy and disappointments that we encounter in our daily lives. We can however explore our perspective, our reaction and use that as a gauge. Are we in a place we can change our perspective?
Could you use a little extra support?
Because this is where change can happen. In the way we view things, in the way we experience things, but only if we allow ourselves to recognize the need for a change in our perspective.
I for one am going to work on this. What about you?