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Mirror, Mirror

Isn't it Maleficent who doesn’t like what she sees so she surrounds herself with those who will see it as she does?

I recently overhead a few younger colleagues discussing how millenials see therapy as a normal process. Truly? Having done therapy for a very long time, I didn’t expect that to be the case, ever.

Unfortunately for the older generation, that is still not true. There is still a stigma attached to seeking help with relationships.

When I listen to the news or read of the horrors that man bestows on man, it seems plain to me that many of us, maybe all of us, could use some help in the area of navigating relationships. Because I have done therapy for much of my life, I cannot help but see the pain in the world through that lens.

Whether it is hurt, anger, resentment or the lack of attachment as a young child, many of the world’s ills can be traced back to this list.

I am not so idealistic as to assume that all people will seek help. But I do expect the “loved ones” around these people to speak up.

What I don’t understand is the evil, hurt or anger perpetrated on innocent people and how these behaviors are justified.

We all need a mirror to reflect what is truly happening. If we surround ourselves only with those who say “ Ah, yes, what you are doing or saying is fine,” then we never get an accurate reflection.

One of the reasons relationships are so hard is because we have that reflection with another person. A young child with their mother or father, a teen age girl with her parents, a young adult with a mentor, a youth with their pastor, a walking buddy. All of these relationships allow for an accurate reflection. We are able to be seen, truly seen.

So mirror, mirror on the wall, what does yours reflect?

Do you have a person or persons in your life who dare share with you what they see, hear, feel about you?

Do you listen to them? And if not, why not?

Therapy becomes the mirror by which others can see themselves. And for many that accurate reflection comes from a trained therapist who starts out as a stranger, builds trust and acceptance and allows the client to explore the internal dialogue, the inner beliefs, the shame and guilt, the questions they have not asked aloud.

Therapy allows the client to be seen.