Somewhere With You

I make up weird stories in my head. Conspiratorial ones where interactions replay and rigid fingers thrust into my chest demanding, “WHY!?”

No matter how hard I try, no matter what I do I will never be good enough. 

A tough session clipped my wings. I tried to bring the rudder up while frantically pushing buttons, pleading mayday, but it was all to no avail. I spiraled into a firey death.

And here I am, charred and confident of one thing; I’m not cut out for this job. 

When I am shut out, and my presence distorts to an adversary, I react as an innocent pleading their case. But when seeing it’s a no-win situation, I resign and admit that defeat is the only outcome.

On a break, I unlace my shoes, and press my bare feet into the leather of the couch, and notice how raw I feel. Just a dog tethered to the back of a moving car, my paw pads are ripped to shreds.

I breathe, jazz playing lightly in the backdrop and begin working to rebuild myself brick by brick.

A wisdom nugget arrives first, advice given to me during grad school: You are in the client’s story, a clay figure bent and shaped to their will. That’s not you, a thought comes to thaw the numb part of me imagining worst-case scenarios.

I asked her to take down her armor, and she did. Which is an impressive thing! And although she slammed it back on does not mean I failed; it just means I intimately understand her pattern now.

And I relate too.

For years the rock I don’t need anybody rattled around my shoe, keeping me from being known by others. Anybody was a threat, especially the ones that cared…because what did they want in return?

But slowly, very slowly, I let people in. And not because of anything I did; it was them. By their showing up, day in and day out, they earned my trust.

And now that I say that, I wonder if that’s what my client needed from me today. Not to push, advise, or do any of that counseling crap. To just show up, shrug and to say, “Wherever you want to go with this is fine by me.”

Love, Jaclynn

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