I have been through my fair share of heartbreaking experiences in
life. We all have. I have learned to cope. I have learned to shove things
down—painful things, messy things, hurtful words spoken to me, my own
shortcomings, etc.– in order to survive. We all learn to cope as a way of
life. No one is exempt. Part of living this side of heaven simply means you
will get hurt. You will hurt others. And life isn’t always fair. There isn’t
always someone clear to blame. And if you’re like me, that is hard to grapple
For the longest time I have put off going to a therapist. I could
think of a million excuses, but deep down inside I knew the biggest reason was
I didn’t want to face my pain. I didn’t want to clean my closet. I didn’t want
to acknowledge the skeletons.
Over years of practice, I have conditioned myself not to feel
emotional pain or negative feelings. I have gotten very good at not getting
hurt. But recently a multitude of right variables aligned– finding a
reputable, friend recommended therapist in-network with my insurance, my
anxieties reaching an all-time high, not being able to fall asleep at night, my
excuses getting just tired enough– and I caved, and sent that overdue email to
said therapist to see if they were possibly taking any new clientele.
I used to think therapy or counseling was only for people with
mental illnesses, traumatic events happening in life or some sort of addiction.
But the truth is, therapy is for us all. Therapy is for the person seeking to
become more self-aware, emotionally healthy, and quit coping their way through
I recently read a quote by the awesome Justin McRoberts:
“Therapy is not for ‘weak’ people.
Therapy is for people who want to live into their strengths.
Therapy is not for ‘broken’ people.
Therapy is for people who want to live healed and whole.
Therapy is not for ‘sick’ people.
Therapy is for people who value their health.”
I love this idea of reframing the conversation around therapy and
mental health. Removing the shame and the stigma of it will free all of us to
enter into the journey of self-discovery. Who doesn’t want to “live into their
strengths, live healed and whole, and value their own health?” When we reframe
the conversation, we see therapy as a life-giving, healthy choice just as
necessary as exercising, going to the dentist every 6 months or getting a
physical every year.
I have been shocked at how much therapy has changed heart and mind
in such a short time. I am uncovering ways I have coped since childhood–
coping mechanisms that have created negative beliefs and behaviors I’ve
wrestled with for years. Together, we are continually uprooting lies and
collectively reshaping my perspective and identity based on truth.
“The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” –Proverbs 20:5
The journey of sanctification is a hard one and should not be
traveled alone. I have found that having a trusted counselor to dive deep with
me into shameful, wounded places has made me braver and given me more clarity
to be free from subconscious habits formed over years and years. It has given
me a voice to speak out and fight for my freedom. And has gifted me with the
confidence to walk with my shoulders back and head held high into the light.
Therapy truly is for everyone. It is for humans. Normal people, if
there is such a thing. The playing field is level. And we all have hurt. We all
have need. No one is exempt from pain on their journey. So, don’t walk it
alone. Why not just give therapy a try?