We are usually told by someone from the moment we are born to "live your dream." At first, we embrace the notion heart and soul because in the very beginning anything seems possible to our innocent young minds. As we grow,our paths of possibilities can rapidly shrink until for some,there seems to be nowhere to go. At times these limits are circumstantial and temporary. Other times they permeate our psyche from another person or society at large. For some, the reach can be cruelly stunted before they even realize they had to power to dare to dream beyond their small circumference. Realizing our dreams can be influenced by the limits we place on ourselves or limits placed on us by others as we mature into adults. And sometimes even when we push through and dream big and accomplish those dreams, we grapple whether or not we are worthy of the dreams coming to fruition.
Personally, I feel that in a professional sense, my new practice is the manifestation of a cherished dream come true. Despite the challenges and intense learning curve, it is what I have so longed to do. There are times where I can hardly believe this is a reality that I actually truly earned.
It makes me think about how our past experiences can so easily lead us to doubt our abilities and the accomplishments we gather during our lives. This, for some, can be a lifetime of reminders that we are not worthy of the fortune we create for ourselves. There can be so many barriers both physical and emotional that can play a part in holding us back from reaching our goals.
With my clients, I find it is so important to encourage the process, as well as, celebrate the progress and the end result. Often, so much progress is overlooked by some until their own words are brought back to them to really listen to. When we see ourselves through the eyes of another, it can be infinitely more generous and kind. Working to help clients see that their history does not need to become chains that stop them from the attaining the dreams that live within their hearts is crucial. It can take a great deal of time and patience to help someone to see that they deserve the achievement even after it has been obtained.
The fear that can accompany the arrival of hard earned wishes come true can be overwhelming. It’s as if this fragile gift is too precious for such a clumsy set of hands. This is one of the greatest challenges I believe we face as therapists with our clients and at times even within ourselves. It is a lifelong mission to encourage those we work with, as well as ourselves, to not only aspire for our dreams but to believe they are ours to celebrate and hold dear with pride once they have been obtained.
Nicole Michaud is the Owner and Therapist at Senhouse Counseling Services, LLC
in Bristol, Connecticut. She is also the voice behind the cooking Blog MyLoveForCooking.com.