My cup needs filling up! Does it really have to be a competition?
Maybe that’s what it is!
I had to figure out how to be better than the rest! That seemed to be the only way.
Strategy after painful strategy, defeat after soul destroying defeat, trying to find the perfect fairytale ending, the golden key that would unlock a treasure chest filled with the magic I so desperately needed to fill my cup.
Somehow, I came to the conclusion that the smartest person wins.
That was one hell of a driving force to excel. There was an upside for sure, and it came at an enormous cost.
Finding myself parenting a 4-year-old alone felt like a catastrophe. After striving for decades, this was my sorry state. No contentment, no joy, no general ease with life.
Thriving might just be somewhere over the rainbow or over that next hurdle but I was tired of searching, tired of trying. Talk about “striving and never arriving”? Yep, it was exactly that.
My careers flourished. My personal relationships were rubbish. Anything but the ideal I had been longing for.
It’s no surprise that I’ve since realised of course, that rubbish is part of all relationships. That anything but the ideal is around about perfectly normal for relationships.
The trouble was, I didn’t have the skills to navigate that gaping divide between my ideals and my reality. The striving had to stop. It was exhausting me.
The next decade or 2 were spent meandering through self-help books, attending seminars, course after course, gathering pieces of data to bring the pieces together. Living life as best I could, and growing up my little man.
“You don’t know what you don’t know.” Truer words were never spoken, hey? It was tricky connecting with, and interpreting information that was never a part of my relationship experience.
Yes, I’m smart. I have a great memory. I'm a fast learner. I enjoy a reasonably good intellect. None of that helped me to explore my relational patterns nor discover how my auto-pilot was set to do life in relationships.
It was no surprise to discover that my auto-pilot was stuck on relationship auto-destruct mode.
It’s wasn’t stuff I could learn from others telling me how it’s done. No self-help book could give me the solution for my misinformed relationship ideals, let alone my misguided relationships skills.
I needed to again immerse myself in the experience and learn as I explored, tested ideas, attempted new skills. It was a risk, a big risk, and scary as all get out. It wasn't going to be another intimate relationship. I was done with that idea.
The environment had to be right, it had to feel safe. So just to check that everyone was on my side, I broke 3 bones in my ankle and was on crutches for the year of my Graduate Certificate in Gestalt Therapy.
Another few years of that immersion and I found myself being met with warmth, kindness, caring, truth, trust, and acceptance by my cohort. What was happening? It can't be real. I'll do or say something and it will all evaporate again.
Disbelief was replaced, in slowly being replaced, with tentative acceptance. Have I really succeeded?
My cup is full...
Radically Real Conversations emerged from my experience with learning the skills of relational dialogue. Join me.
Explore, test new skills, try new approaches, immerse yourself in the experience with a group of others in a safe space where we’ll begin by building trust in each other. No need to break any bones! Check it out here.
Gestalt Psychotherapist, Relational Life Coach
Together we’ll explore obstacles to achieving, thriving and living well. My work is evidenced informed and trauma informed.