My clients often say to me "oh how do you do this work?" "Aren't you knackered at the end of the day?" "Isn't the talking all day tiring?" I always smile when I am asked this and I explain that I genuinely feel deeply honoured to do this work. I am paid for being in deep interpersonal, intimate human connection each hour, each day with each individual. I cannot think of a more meaningful, purposeful job that allows me to be so enriched by the experience of being human and so closely in dialogue about living. It sounds so idealistic that it seems almost cliche, but it is very much the truth of how I experience my work.
Recently I had the pleasure of working with a person on some early childhood trauma. We sat in dialogue about the wounding that their childhood self had suffered. We talked about what that "child inside" had needed to feel cared for and nourished back then and how they could, as an adult, provide some nurturing for their own vulnerable, wounded, child self. Much like an attentive parent paying close and loving attention to their child in need.
Over the weeks that followed it became clear a seed had been planted. I watched as this person began quite unconsciously to nourish themselves more deeply. Giving themselves the gift of paying close attention to what their wounded, child self felt and needed. Tracking the signs of when they needed rest, when they needed food, when they needed to cry and when they needed connection with others. Learning to say no when no was needed and setting boundaries when they felt useful.
As they did this - paying close, mindful attention to healing their own wounded child self, they then surprised themselves by finding new strength inside (that they hadnt felt for years) to then show up as the loving, attentive parent for their own real life children, who needed their attention and love in their time of need.
This adult client nourished their own wounded child self and in turn, by being the parent to their own wounded internal child, they were able to then show up as the parent they yearned to be for their own children in their adult life.
Parent nourishing child, leading to parent nourishing child.
It is in these moments of witnessing such deep internal and intergenerational healing that makes my work feel priceless, precious and breathtaking.
Witnessing life and the relationship we have with ourselves and others transforming before my eyes. It is a humbling and beautiful.