Wait! You Have One More Move!
I didn't choose to be a psychotherapist for the cash at the end of the session. Just to be clear. Yes it is the way I make money, but not the why. Let me tell you the 'why'.
Sometimes I have a client across from me and they are truly at the end of their rope. That's what they believe. They have nothing left. And I remember that feeling. It's real. It is heartbreakingly, in-your-face, overwhelmingly real. You don't have the energy, ability or interest to hang on, climb back up, or even let go and see where you land. You're stuck at the end of your rope without options. It's a crappy place. It could be that your spouse just told you they want out of the marriage. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you've made a horrible mistake. Maybe you have not felt joy for a very long time. Maybe you feel that making others happy is draining your soul. Maybe you think there is something wrong with you. Maybe you have no idea what the problem is but you just know you can no longer stay on your current path.
The saddest thing is to stay there alone at the end of your rope. The most wonderful news is that you don't have to.
One of my favourite stories is about Paul Morphy, the international chess master, in an art gallery. Mr. Morphy was drawn to Retzch's “The Chess Players,” a painting depicting two men playing chess.
In the painting, a man is playing chess with the devil and at stake is the young man’s soul. It is apparently the young man's turn and he seemed to have just realized that there was nothing he could do to win the game. There were no more moves for him. Graphically depicted in his facial features and his posture is the agony of hopeless despair. His soul was lost.
Mr. Morphy stared at the painting for a very, very long time. Finally he exclaimed in triumph, "Wait! There's one more move!" Mr. Morphy, a visitor in an art gallery, jubilantly offered freedom to the stuck, hopeless young man on the canvas by finding another move for him.
The truth is that there is always another move. We just can't see it sometimes. We are designed as relational creatures and we need each other to see further and to see more.
And that's why I sit across from my clients. To help them find another move when they're stuck. To assist them in finding freedom when it seems that turning left leads to hurt, turning right leads pain, and staying still is unbearable.
It really is worth giving yourself the chance to discover one more move.