“As a therapist, I know a lot about pain, about the ways in which pain is tied to loss. But I also know something less commonly understood: that change and loss travel together. We can’t have change without loss, which is why so often people say they want change but nonetheless stay exactly the same.” -Lori Gottlieb, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
Wow! This makes a lot of sense.
I feel like it is something understood sub-consciously, however, as people, we still do not want to experience pain or loss. We want things to stay exactly the same, even if it is causing us pain and is destructive in our lives.
It’s kind of like ripping a band-aid off. As a kid (and maybe as an adult), we delay the inevitable, even though we don’t want the old band-aid on anymore, we hope it just falls off on its own, or we ignore it thinking it will go away.
You can’t really experience change until you go through some of life’s painful trials and tribulations. Think of Jeannie Gaffigan… she was a control-freak “super Mom” who did everything for everyone, until her life was turned upside down by a pear-shaped tumor in her brain.
She had the tumor removed and then was relegated to a bed and unable to eat for months. She learned through the trial that she was being controlling, overbearing, and making a big deal about all the minor stuff that didn’t really matter and it was negatively impacting everyone around her, particularly her five kids and husband, Jim.
I know in my life that it came to the pain of divorce to really kickstart change in my life. To recognize negative patterns in my life, to see how those behaviors led me and my family down a gloomy path to a tragic future, those took the pain of splitting up, so that neither us ended at that place.
The pain of loss was the catalyst of those changes.
I am excited to continue reading, Lori Gottlieb’s new book, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone,” about the inner lives of counselors and the inner workings of counseling. Those professionals are people too. They have struggles and difficulties they need to sort out. We are all human after all.