by Jessica Wilkerson, LMFT
Yes, I’m a psychotherapist, an entrepreneur, a wife, mom, sister, friend… and… I’m also constantly putting out little smoldering fires all around me. Sometimes I feel like I’m about to be engulfed in the flames. Other times it’s calm and peaceful, and I wonder to myself, “when is the next natural disaster?” or “Is this really just the eye of the storm? Am I safe to feel safe right now?”
Both of those answers are yes.
It’s safe to feel safe, and it’s quite possibly the eye of the storm.
It probably doesn’t feel like those two statements would coexist, but they do. One of my regular mantras is that two opposing thoughts can be true at the same time. I say it all time. It brings me a lot of comfort and I think it has also helped a lot of my clients, too.
Let’s look at this contradictory statement and see how I can be safe in the eye of the storm.
There’s always a storm. That’s the nature of living. We have peaceful times that last a week, month, or year, and they only last for those periods of time because something inevitably happens. Also, I inevitably get through it, and hindsight being 20/20 I usually come out braver and more confident than when I started. I hate it while it’s happening, but I’m resilient and smart. So are you. You’re browsing blogs on therapy websites to improve yourself and whatever situation is happening in your life. You’re also resilient and smart, making the best choices you can in the situation you find yourself.
If you look too far in the future while you’re putting out the fires, then all you’ll see is fire in your future. It’s good to know where you’re going and to have long term plans. But when the going gets rough you need mid-sight. You can’t only focus on the here-and-now or you’ll get stuck, you can’t only focus on the distant future or you’ll feel hopeless. This period you’re in is the abnormal part, you need to imagine that you’re looking for the door or a few steps ahead with the knowledge that getting to this first landmark is still taking you down your journey.
Dorothy’s end goal was oz, but she had to look just far enough ahead of each obstacle to get through them all while still keeping herself pointing in the right direction. Life was scary as heck, and also fun and silly. It was very contradictory.
The next time you have that anxious feeling, that wondering when the other shoe is going to drop, tell yourself that it doesn’t matter when it happens because you’re ready for it. Remind yourself that being ready for it means you can enjoy relaxing today. And if you need someone to remind you (and you live in California), Jessica is one session away and will tell you to your face.
Jessica Wilkerson is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Chico, CA and Redding, CA. She owns Inspired Life Counseling and spends part of the time providing online and in-person therapy, and part of the time exercising the entrepreneurial part of herself. She trains pre-licensed therapists who have already finished grad school, but haven’t yet gotten licensed and she has three kids. Her adult son is in his last year of business school while her other two kids are single-digit in age. Her life is balanced. We could say busy and wearing many hats… but that’s also a balancing act that she enjoys, so it’s balanced!
You can also hear Jessica on Christian talk radio on kkxx 1530 AM on Mondays at 12:30 & 5:00 pm.