Yes I have a therapist; and fortunately so, because therapy has made my life a whole lot better, and made me a whole lot easier to live with.
But therapy is a practice?
What is practice anyway? It’s a means to mastering some skill. The skill I work on in therapy is self-awareness, and relating to others.
Therapy is my practice dojo for learning trust, vulnerability, and honesty. Part of what makes therapy work is that you’re paying this person to keep your secrets, and if they don’t they can lose their license. This enables you to look into the dark places of your soul, admit to yourself and your therapist they’re there, and begin to understand why.
Everything that walks in the light casts a shadow. The only way to avoid casting a shadow is to walk in darkness. Our shadow selves come from trying to find ways to cope with the world. They are the part of ourselves we’d like to hide from the world, the part we are ashamed of, and the part we want to deny exists.
Embracing the shadow is embracing ourselves; it means accepting who we are. Deny our shadow and deny our own self-acceptance. Grace comes from that acceptance, and can lead not only to our own acceptance, but accepting our spouse, our children, our parents, and so on. It’s a profoundly healing experience.
That’s a hard path to walk alone. A good therapist can help us find that path to trust, vulnerability, and to honesty; a path that leads into our own darkness; but there is light and wholeness on the other side.