I came to a sudden realisation today that at the best and worst of times in their lives, people come to me because they need me.
It’s quite a privilege.
I often hear from clients; this happened or I need this and ”I thought of you”. My range of skills mean that I get to cover the most important life events for people, both positive and sometimes less so. The fact that many of my clients have been with me for years means that I get to travel their journeys with them. On the positive end of the scale I’ve shared the joys of first dates and the start of new relationships ( make up, facials and brows!) first holidays with new partners ( waxing and tanning! ) and lots of big days where I’ve been blessed to share the joys of wedding day preparations, for mums and daughters ( and dads and husbands too) and shared the excitement and good vibes on the day as a make up artist.
I also get to share the early secret stages of pregnancy, the development of the babies and to travel the journey with new mums both before and after births. I have had the pleasure of helping over 500 Reiki babies on their way into the world and continue to treat many of their parents and some of the children themselves too. I get to watch them grow and develop, share stories of their first days at nursery all the way up to their first day at University. I have laughed when parents have died of embarrassment from tales they tell of their children’s exploits and I get to know their families on a personal level, even though some of them I may not have met.
Clients share their secrets with me, knowing it won’t go any further and that I won’t judge or solve, I’ll just listen, occasionally laugh or cry with them too. The good secrets and the bad, I get them all, I could probably make a small fortune If I decide to give up my work and just blackmail people instead!!
They will share their bad experiences with me too, helping them to let it all out and let them deal with it. What they don’t know is that many of the darker days will come home with me and I will empathise and deal with the way their events have affected me too, in supporting them. I have become an expert in processing events that make me sad or angry and working through it so that I don’t carry their grief or negative emotions with me. As a therapist it’s impossible to only share the good with people, you feel their sadness just as much as their happiness, we just have to learn how to deal with it for ourselves.
As for the darker sides to lives, I also share those, but in a positive way. I share journeys with mental illness, addictions and the battles to overcome them, Cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery, short journeys where people don’t have much time left in this world, illness, loss, grief and death. I’ve held the hands of dying people and learned more from them in 5 minutes than a lifetime of being surrounded by people, I’ve cried, hugged, scolded and giggled, felt their pain and fear and helped them through this out to the other side. Its one hell of a journey in some cases but I’ve loved, lost and learned every time I’ve done it.
I’m often asked why I would put myself through this time after time, as someone who feels deeply with each experience. It would be so easy to get a job in retail and get on with my life oblivious to all of the pain and suffering and sadness. But then I’d miss out on the days that really count, the days of an all clear diagnosis, the days of becoming a mum or a grandma, the days of receiving medals and awards, retirement parties, proms and promotions. Celebrations and happy moments. They all come together as a package, the good and the not so good. You can’t appreciate light without darkness. Every journey brings a whole raft of emotions, events and learning. Why would I miss it? Why would I not use my skills to make people feel better, more confident or more peaceful, uplift them and help them develop into what they want to be, share their dreams and create something special with them.
I’ve learned to take the bad and deal with it, it makes me happier, brighter and a better person. I understand so much about what it is to be human, to be a parent before I was one, to live and love and laugh with people that I share the most intimate of secrets and lives with.
I’m simply blessed. Lucky. Grateful. In awe. Inspired. Plus a hundred and one other words besides, I love my job, I love the people it brings to me and most of all I love that when people need something good, even in a bad situation, they think of me. It’s the best compliment ever. It’s like being a superhero. I get to help make people better, happier and more positive and it never feels like hard work….hardly ever! And now even more so than ever, I feel grateful, I get to share my knowledge and skills with new therapists, just beginning their careers and teach them too.
So, Thank you to everyone who has shared their journey with me so far, we have more travelling to do, and for those that I have yet to meet, I look forward to it immensely. To my clients, thanks for being each and every one of you, for sharing my highs and lows too, and to my students thank you for letting me help you begin your journey, the most wonderful path to travel, and I hope one day you feel exactly the same about what you do.