New Year’s Resolutions for a Therapist

Many believe that therapists must get everything right in their lives.  They should have great relationships and are happy most of the time.  If we make our living guiding others towards emotional and relationship health fulfillment, surely we have it all figured out!  This potentially could be true if not for the fact that we carry our own wounds, make mistakes and are ultimately figuring it out along with everyone else.  We might have a little advantage at understanding the dynamics of relationships and the obstacles that can impede happiness but at the end of the day, we are human too.

It’s in this spirit that I share my New Years resolutions – or thoughts (which sounds a little less intense and pressure-filled than “resolutions”).   The following are things I’d like to stay mindful of in the year 2014.

  • Move worry to the back seat.  I saw a quote recently about how worrying is like praying for something you don’t want.  Worry has a tendency to show up in my life more than is helpful, having it’s roots in an emotionally insecure childhood.  I’d like to continue to shift my relationship with worry.
  • Play more.   I would like to get in better touch with my playful side via artistic expression, getting on the ground and “in the dirt” with my son.  Most adults can benefit from exchanging seriousness for abandon once in a while.
  • Befriend the remaining monkeys on my back.  Painful experiences from long ago  no longer inhibit me in the ways they used to but there are still a few monkeys occasionally holding more power than is helpful.  I will continue to find ways to befriend them.  I will also honor them as they have helped me to grow and probably be a better therapist in that I can truly relate to the pain others carry and know it is possible to work through this.
  • Know that what I do is enough.  This is one I’ve successfully worked on for years now – but I need to keep it in my awareness.  I consider myself a reformed “Type A” for which I am very proud.
  • Get creative.  I have let go a lot of the creative outlets I used to have, like photography.  I’d like to tap into the joy of this side of me again.
  • Hang out more with my inner child.  In my own personal therapy over the years, I’ve reconnected with my little girl.  She’s pretty cool actually and I occasionally check in with her if I’m feeling a little off.  She has learned to be free and playful within me.  I can continue to learn from her.
  • Keep doing what I’m doing.  There are things I am doing well and am proud of.  I have many loving family relationships and close friendships.  I am fortunate to be doing work I am passionate about in helping others find personal and relationship satisfaction.  I live in an area whose natural beauty brings me much peace.  The yoga and meditation practice I’ve incorporated into my life the last several years has also brought a greater ability for presence and stillness.  I consider myself a lifelong work in progress and will always seek improvement in how I walk through life.  Ya know, I think I just stumbled upon my last resolution…
  • Stay grateful.