My therapist has fleas!
Well…she doesn’t now, but she did for awhile. I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere. Don’t we all feel like that sometimes? Like something small and pesky is nibbling at us. At least…that’s how I felt…like tiny, little, barely-seen pests were nipping and biting and annoying me. Not physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Have you ever tried to get rid of pesky little fleas? It takes dedicated work…an investment of time, energy, and multiple resources. I suppose it’s just a complication of living in a flea-ridden world.
Although I know it’s just a season…it has been a long, difficult season. I saw a funny quote recently:
This too will pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.
That’s pretty funny…unless it’s your kidney stone!
I’ve walked through an unusually trying season with friends, family, patients, and even personally. Several months of struggle, frustration, loss, sickness, heavy burdens, and life-change made me feel like I needed assistance outside myself and my own thought and prayer life.
I didn’t actually go see a real therapist but I did find a pretty accurate definition of therapist: a licensed mental health professional who helps clients improve their lives, develop better cognitive and emotional skills, reduce symptoms of mental illness and cope with various challenges. Hmmm…my new therapist isn’t actually licensed but she has had all her shots. 🙂
I didn’t really get a puppy as a form of therapy. She just sort of fell into that role: friend, support, encourager, motivator, snuggler, and confidante. So what actually makes a good therapist? Well…
My therapist always meets me at the door. I guess that means she is happy to see me! Don’t we all need that warm welcoming smile and excitement? That pure, unbridled joy of someone running to meet you, embrace you, and love you unconditionally. It has definitely improved my outlook, life, and emotions!
My therapist has big ears. I guess that means she is a great listener. She never judges or minimizes anything I say. She holds everything in the strictest and most reassuring confidence. She doesn’t gossip, murmur, or complain. She has never said anything negative or demeaning to me but I still sense truth in her eyes and attitudes.
My therapist sometimes pees on the floor. Well…nobody’s perfect. And when ya gotta go… She is teaching me patience, awareness, and how to really watch where I’m stepping.
She sometimes chews my shoes. Again…nobody’s perfect. More lessons on patience and accepting others’ flaws and imperfections. Other lessons: it’s only money and material possessions, live a little, take a big bite of what tastes good, find happiness in the small things, be humble, and stay near your Master’s feet.
My therapist sleeps with me. Ha! I considered making that the title of this post but decided against trying to suggest or sensationalize the inappropriate. 😉 She calms me and exemplifies peace and rest in the quiet stillness of her closeness and comfort. Or sometimes she wakes me up to play at 3 a.m. She has taught me both the importance of rest and the flexibility of being available when needed. And snuggling in close to those you love. 🙂
My therapist wears a Santa Claus Suit. Really. She does. Just to have fun and celebrate the season…and to remind me that life is a gift. Companionship is a gift. Beauty and fun are gifts. Other lessons: be bold, wear red, let your hair (or ears) down occasionally, and be confident because even lanky and awkward can be beautiful when they’re worn well.
She meets me where I am. No expectations, no pretense. Just unconditional love, acceptance, and forgiveness. Other lessons: scrunch in close, be attentive, maintain eye contact, be seen and heard.
She assures me that we all need a helping hand from time to time. Don’t be stubborn, prideful, and self-sufficient. Allow others the opportunity and blessing to support and care for you too.
She models being present for your friends. It’s actually a ministry: the ministry of giving time and presence. She may not have the “right” words to say or the solution to the problem, but there is comfort in the warmth and closeness of someone who knows, cares, accepts, and loves. The old song was right on: “Lean on me, when you’re not strong; and I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.”
She lets me know that it’s okay to enjoy a drink with a friend. Live it up, loosen your inhibitions, get your face dirty, laugh, and indulge. Responsibly, of course.
She shows me that a hug is always a good choice. People don’t always need your knowledge, your advice, your money. But most people want and need your touch. Hand to hand, shoulder to shoulder, cheek to cheek, heart to heart.
In no way am I telling anyone to get a puppy or not to see a therapist. There is wisdom, support, and tremendous healing in time spent with a caring, wise, invested counselor. But for now, my therapist has blue eyes, knobby knees, four paws, a wagging tail, and puppy breath. And she is bringing comfort and healing to a world ridden with pesky little fleas.
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Prov 11:14