By Tanya Ruckstuhl-Valenti, LICSW, MSW
The very coolest thing about being a therapist is the daily front row seat I have in the unfolding of emotional healing. Watching my clients discover their own needs, motivations, and boundaries teaches me more about myself and humanity at large than I could ever discover on my own.
It’s like having a crack team of researchers on the most interesting topics imaginable: How do we live? How do we form and sustain connections with others? How do we make meaning in the face of our mortality? How do we manage our fears and continue to reach for love? How do we avoid cynicism when we are hurting? How do we learn from our mistakes and continue to move forward? How do we protect our needs and still remain permeable to one another? How do we develop personal belief systems large enough to respect others while honoring our own truth?
I certainly don’t have any definite answers (and holy cow you probably wouldn’t want to trust anyone who said they did) but I love mulling over these big questions, and for me that is answer enough: that we wonder together. That in wondering we open up breathing and thinking space in our minds and hearts and lives.
I’ve been reading “This Explains Everything” a book of essays edited by John Brockman on “deep, elegant theories of how the world works” written by every type of geeky-groovy specialist from Nobel-prize winning theoretical physicists to bestselling social commentators to the actor Allan Alda. I’ve been having fun thinking about the second law of thermodynamics and its counter balance of natural selection.
Sometimes I get so myopic that refinishing the deck or finding an original landscape watercolor at a garage sale is the most satisfying experience I’m aware of having. I love how working as a therapist and reading crunchy books on quantum physics pulls back the lens and gives me a wide angle view of the world.
(Today I’m celebrating a thousand followers! Woo-hoo! If you drop me a comment about what you would like to read more—or less—of you might just be chosen for my special Thousandaire’s reward of a book from my professional book shelf. If picked I’ll send you a private email to get your mailing address as a thank you for following).