I was reminded this week when thinking about going for a jog (note the thinking about I didn't actually get out the door!) how important it is to invest in people and our relationships.
I was always a good short distance runner in my teens but when it came to the long races I was terrible! As a counsellor relationships in my experience are not 100m races but long marathons that have highs and lows. Often it feels as though we have to put a lot of energy into our relationships and we don't always received the benefits we require immediately. As I am the sort of person that wants every thing done yesterday it has been a hard lesson as a counsellor that I cannot just 'fix' the person and move on to the next. I have to play the long game. This requires me to be patient, listen, not push my expectations on others and to trust in the process that person is going through. I have often been plagued by self doubt such as 'am I doing enough'? 'am I giving this person what they have come to me for?' 'Do I need to try harder' The answer to these things is the same and that is to build a relationship and play the long game! Counselling without relationship is pointless. It takes time and energy to build that rapport, trust, affection and see breakthrough in peoples lives. As a counsellor working in private practice often the biggest problem is people not being willing to invest their money in themselves i.e. their mental and emotional wellbeing. We are so programmed to just 'get on with it' and then we wonder why we are suffering emotionally because there is no outlet for this part of ourselves. People are often surprised that in order to explore deeper work they need to see me for a good few months sometimes longer. I understand that this is a big financial commitment and I don't pretend that it is not a sacrifice, however the freedom that it can bring people is truly life changing and such a privilege for me to witness and be part of.
Investing is others or ourselves is a choice and can feel difficult at times, maybe someone you love is struggling to let you in? or perhaps someone you love is hurting and you don't know how to 'help them, maybe you are suffering emotionally and don't know how to come into freedom? Remember play the long game and be kind to yourself and other around you.
Often people want a deep meaning relationship without putting the effort in! We all deserve to have deep fulling connections with ourselves and other's however we have a responsibility to make the time to run together.
If you or anyone you know is interested in counselling for any issue please see my website for more details www.honeysettcounselling.co.uk