A few weeks ago, around the beginning of the year, my iPhone stopped working…
It was the end of a day with many other stresses, but also the end of the year 2020 that was a very difficult and challenging year for all of us. It was also post an election that was tense and had me holding my breath for months, and there was Covid illness in my immediate circle..
As I was trying to connect with AT&T, from my only phone.. (that was not working…), I was put on a very long hold. As with many of those tech companies, after a long hold, I was sent to a out-sourced call center in another country. When finally, a real human female voice came on with a warm, soft accent and said, “how can I help you..,” I burst into tears.
Through my tears, I tried to reassure her that I was not in danger or crisis, and that I was quite OK. It was actually her “how can I help you..” that broke me down and opened the flood gates.
We talked for a while, and while she could not disclose to me where she was located geographically (company protocol), she was so kind, and sweet, and understanding, and held such quiet, calm, and patience with my overwhelm.
When she needed to put me on hold (many times), she reassured me that she ‘will be right back!!’
She was just what I needed!! A warm caring person to listen to me with patience, empathy, understanding, and a soft voice with a good dose of competence and humor.
The fact that she also helped me solve a technology issue with my iPhone (and wow .. do I DEPEND on this device) was secondary.
Needless to say that my attitude toward my “mental health professional” work took a bit of a turn that moment while also becoming part of my New Year resolution.
The women from the call center understood that while she was trying to resolve a technical issue, my stress and overwhelm were what was really the issue.
Every year at the beginning of January, I write a blog about making New Years resolutions.
That feeling of having a blank slate, a canvas on which we can sketch how we want our lives to look this next year and define what is really important to us; That feeling is a sense of reset and a beginning again that opens up a land of possibilities to imagine what we desire to improve and accomplish in our lives.
When I look at my 2020 blog, it seems ever so long ago, and so naive and innocent.
For most of us, hindsight is 20/20, we can look back and see what we did not see, we can have clarity where we were not paying attention, and we wish that we knew then, what we know now..(from my 2020 January blog.)
However, hindsight isn’t so 20/20 looking at this last year as no one could have predicted the unimaginable events of 2020. The worst pandemic, the country divided, racial injustice and protests, a surreal election, and a time that felt like being in a small boat in a tumultuous ocean without a rudder or a captain.
Like walking in a labyrinth, I felt I needed to focus and trust where I put my next step, without looking too far ahead.
As I move into this next year I am confronted by the same forces of the unknown that have been there for all of us this year. As I envision this year that is ahead of us, I try to put my intentions forth, with as much trust as I can. Much is still unknown.
What am I willing to let go of and release from my life this last year: fear, mistrust, contraction, division, criticism, anger, impatience.
What I want to call in and welcome; trust, expansion, breath, curiosity, intimacy, (travel!).
What about you? What are the things you want to embrace, attract, and bring into your life this year of 2021, and what stuff are you willing to let go of and be done with?
This last year has been a hard year for my therapy work. Though I am so full with gratitude for having my work and for being able to help my clients every day, it is also hard to hold space for so much hardship and turmoil that often leave us feeling a sense of helplessness.
As most of my work is relationship therapy, I help couples and individuals deal with ‘connection in time of isolation‘, coping with overwhelm, anxiety, and at times depression and hopelessness. As a couple told me tonight, ‘we are aching and longing for some sense of normalcy’.
As I enter my therapy sessions, I want to bring with me the voice of the woman from the call center. I want to hear in my head, and project outward, her warm, caring, compassionate voice, and be able to say, “How can I help you?” And by holding that space, I hope to impact my clients in such a way that at the end of our calls, they feel that same sense of “that was Just what I needed!!!“
Please take good care and have a good 2021.
With much love,