Life lessons

Posted: June 16, 2011 in Mental Health

I get the oppurtunity to do a bit of life lesson classes on a weekly basis, they are geared towards the young people I work with but I am not so jaded by life that I dont think these lessons would be useful to an old hand like me, after all if I had been such a spectacular success at life I wouldnt be writing this blob at all would I. I do shake my head sometimes at whats said, but I like other bits and thats the secret isnt it, take what you think is useful and leave the bits that dont resonate with you.

Now my thursday therapy session isnt about life laws or anything so structured but I realised today that there is a lesson to be learned if only I was open enough to hear it. To be honest I was in a bad mood this morning dreading what I knew was coming today as result of some activity over Face Book at the weekend, I can be a very uncaring person when I want to be and although I was aware that the subject had to be broached and needed to be dealt with for the person concerned it wasnt somebody I care about and I resented the loss of time to others, who I did, it wasnt selfish I didnt have anything to say myself, I didnt want the time for me I just didnt want them to have it and in my mind waste it.

My immediate feeling of grumpiness was taken away by a surprise entrant to the group who being there cheered me up, yes I’m that fickle, but once the session got underway I sat and waited for the inevitable to happen, and with a very short delay for introductions it did. I sat through the long drawn out story of events which appeared to resonate with much of the group, although I noted not all. I was angry at the whole affair but felt it would have been detrimental to voice this, I can be uncaring but I am seldom mean. So I sat there and distracted myself by looking around at everyone, wondering how there week had gone and what was new and different for them. I was brought out of my reverie by a few words spoken by another member who had vicariously got themselves involved, they had a slightly different view on the lead up to the facts and I was furious all of a sudden.

When I get a bee in my bonnet I can fly off the handle and become very antagonistic without much of a warning so I checked myself before I spoke, offered apologies for any harm caused by what I had to say and fired away, not too vociferously, just very adament but clear on what I thought. I said my peice and waited for the flashback, the idea that the rest of the group would jump on me immediatley had taken hold and I was sure as anything could be I would be castigated, but no, it never materialised. The opposite happened, I was reassured that I wasnt alone in this attitude and even my intended victim seemed to get my point without rancour. This made me do a double take, I went a bit further with it and again got positive reinforcement from the group, not unanimously but there were no dissenters agrueing back with me either.

We moved on and I sat listening and became aware of something I have always known but never really paid any attention to, other members were talking about themselves and how they felt the group would react to them on a number of matters, again they had been disarmed by the response they had got and couldnt fathom it out. In the past 16 months I have sat with anywhere up to 60 different persons who have all believed they knew how the rest of us would feel about them, almost every one of them has said it at some point or other in their therapeutic experience and I can only think of one occasion when they were actually right, and even then it was a specific person who felt that a small number of folks had an issue with them, and it was clear it was true and was resolved by talking about it.

I had what we used to call a light bulb moment, where the obvious truth becomes as plain as the nose on your face and I felt a bit stupid that I hadnt correlated all the seperate events into a pattern that would have shown me the truth very quickly. Maybe I had thought it so simple as to not apply any thought at all to it, I certainly never heard anyone say something along those lines before and I am not unique in my ability to think in these terms so why the long period of silence on this matter I dont know. I had gone in today with a preconcieved notion of how things would pan out, I didnt obviously know what others who hadnt plastered their entire lives on Facebook had been up to but I was pretty used to the ebb and flow of the group by now and generally nothing surprising happens but I hadnt figured I would learn something so elemental, to me and my life anyway, that I would in essence learn a new life lesson and become more aware of something than I had when I entered the room.

I suppose the moral of the rather long and over complicated story is you never know whats coming in your life and be open to things and you might just be better off than before, albeit on an intellectual or emotional level.

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