Hopefully, where you are and where you want to be are the same place but if you’re like most of us, life has bumped and jolted you along to places you never completely planned or even desired, in good and in not so good ways. But even so, today is where you are right now. And any time you devote to contemplating your own path, diverging or just unclear, may help develop your capacity for thoughtful reflection. And this may help you move into your future undaunted by any uncertainties you face.
In therapy clients get to look down the pathway of the past, which can be beneficial as it can support purposeful decision making for the future. But just looking is the key; it’s a challenge to not go too deep or delve to long else we re-live all of our past traumas and pains far in excess of their value to us, crowding out the enjoyment of the present that is always with us.
So while looking back is helpful, in moderation and with great care, lifting our heads high and gazing on any possible future pathway is helpful too. Engaging in the uncertainties and various scenarios with purpose and forethought, makes a huge difference in how you can see yourself as a life traveler. A decisive, thoughtful, and meaningful mental trip into your future possibilities usually feels empowering regardless of any possible doubts you may hold inside.
Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken, is in many ways a current reflection of the past, but at the same time he extends an arch into the future:
“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost’s poem evokes many things in me, not the least of which is the wonderful reverence I have for basic acts of contemplation and reflection which are both central to my own and my client’s capacity for healing awareness.
The therapeutic process allows them to sit and consider the past but we also understand it’s never a good idea to get swallowed up by it completely; a reflective visit is always best. There is also room made for the present moment, a place where many paths, past, present, and future, are open to immediate interpretation, pondering, and careful consideration.
Many things can cause us to go into those deep woods of thought. But the practical realities of the day call us back to ourselves, to the present, over and over again. We may have miles to go before we sleep but none of us knows how many or where the journey will end – so journey on.
Dawna Daigneault, Ed.S., LPC.
Better By Monday is a blog about one thing you can do, over the weekend, to feel a little bit better by Monday.