Wow. It’s 43 degrees right now, like CANADIAN, Dude. That means 109.4 at 6pm in the shade on the patio where instead of writing to you today, I am simply going to melt my soul onto the page and stir it around with some number 50 sunscreen and some eye of newt. I am pretty sure that should solve all of your problems. The young girls at the table in front of mine are pouring their ice water on their legs. I’m thinking of slipping a cube or two into my bra. And tomorrow is going to be hot-ter. Like 115. Crap that is like Phoenix. Nope. Just checked. Phoenix is a breezy 40 tomorrow. Hockey is on TV so that we can all ignore the game and fantasize about sliding in our underwear across the frozen arena floor. She scores!!!
I want to talk to you today, not about the distracting melt fest that is killing me dead – me, ordinarily a lover of hot winds and heat waves but it turns out even I have my limits —but actually what I do when I am not melting to death; counsel, coach, heal, fix, love, guide, teach and support, and the different ways in which support, like ice bergs and ice baths and iced drinks and Ice Ice Baby can help us be cool. I’m so cool I’m hot in case you needed proof that this is real. Cool is the new hot.
Let me start by saying I LOVE, absolutely love treasure and thrive on the conversations that I have with you. You are so bloody smart, and funny and interesting and creative and engaged —humans who want A BETTER WAY to live and to love. And that is my JAM. Today that jam is my popsicle. I had an enlightening discussion last week with a client who has entered into a new relationship and is putting in the work to make IT work for him and for them. His paramour, it turns out has made it all the way through her adult life without ever having therapy, or counselling, or coaching, or emotional, mental and basic life support of any kind. Which, is super cool. Shit never hit the fan fast or hard enough that she couldn’t dodge it. While my client has availed himself of the best of the best, myself included aww shucks thank you happy to help, his concern as the relationship moved from the first to the second trimester, was that this poor gal never hit rock bottom and therefore never made it to the self insight support work through your stuff stage. Which means some pretty important things for him. He has someone to talk to. She doesn’t. Not Susan at the water cooler (though I would talk to that water cooler right now) but someone objective with some insight into human emotion and stuff. He gets to try out super magical exercises that help him feel differently about himself. She is stuck with what she’s got. If they have a conflict, he has support in approaching it healthily, with thoughtful insight. She’s winging it. He knows his own wants and needs. He has tools. He has elevated esteem. And so on.
So let me answer the obvious question for the enquiring minds.
Does EVERYONE need help??? Like as in counselling or therapy or coaching or more than your bestie snapping a zee and telling you what’s what?
Well, a couple of years back I would have said gosh no. No way. That is not a thing. And I am not even saying it’s fully a thing now. But let me tell you about the different styles and approaches to support that I engage in with my clients.
I have clients who have tough jobs. Doctors and leaders of doctors. Oil and gas presidents and CEO’s of companies, and founders and owners of companies and top level executives of other companies and clients in high level finance. They are much more successful and peaceful and fulfilled and sane and HAPPY, ’cause yes that is even a thing, when they have someone who gets them, with whom they can talk, share all of their private thoughts, sort out their confusion, have witness their process and even sometimes help them feel a feeling. There is a magic to these sessions; to feeling seen and understood and heard. To understanding yourself with compassion. These lovely humans have me on a continual basis. We don’t start and finish. It’s not a year long process or a three month rehab. I am there as a constant to help them get a leg up, feel grounded and stay connected.
On the other end of the spectrum land my intensive clients. These lovelies are seeking, needing, benefiting from deep personal transformation; of patterns that have kept them in dead end relationships or feeling anxious in career, panicked or lost in their very accomplished but coercive thought processes, or sad and falling apart. Wanting to find love but not make the same mistakes again and again like Groundhog Day. The movie, that is, with what’s his face. Bill Murray. Thanks google. But I want to say this now. The lovelies who go through this process with me are not BROKEN. No. It’s not about that. Once again, I’ll say it a hundred times, they are looking for a better way; a way to understand themselves and their desires and their tendencies and their pasts and their hurty places. They want to have BETTER relationships, intentional relationships; with themselves and their dates and their beloveds. They want to create family that is based on emotional health, and to give all of this insight and basic self understanding and love to their actual offspring.
And then there are others who need something in between. They need me on speed dial so they don’t react when they get or don’t get that text, you know the one…
They need me to make better decisions about when to protect themselves or when to stay open. They need to know how to go out on a date after you have been through a shit divorce, how to express yourself but also how not to make 101 rookie mistakes.
They need to know how to realize what they want and need, how not to confuse this with what they think they want or what they are afraid of, and so on.
I know personally that support is like freaking magic. This is not because we are broken, it’s because we are not meant to do it alone, solve it alone, think it alone, feel it alone. I have my own support. I don’t try to operate on my own back, or cut my own hair, and although covid taught me some skills I NEVER EVER want to do my own esthetics again #tears.
So to my guy’s gal who is wondering WHY he might want her to see a professional, let me say this:
You are not flawed or crazy. And even if you feel crazy, the entire point of support in whichever form it arrives at a theater near you, is to HELP YOU —feel good and make better choices —not to call you out or single you out or make you feel like you have to defend yourself.
The thing is, we aren’t meant to do it alone, to live in isolation.
Back to the conversation with our sweet gal who had never had occasion to call up a therapist, here is what my guy said to her:
If I love me and I love you and you love me and you hate you, how exactly is that gonna work?
Friggin’ brilliant. Let’s say it again.
If I love me and you love me, and I love you and you hate you, not exactly the recipe for a great relationship.
And that my friend, is the simple truth.
We all benefit from insight, from understanding ourselves, from not having to figure it all out alone, from having someone hear us out.
Together we have done some crazy amazing things this year. We have conquered anxiety and imposter syndrome and started healthy relationships for the first time and we have created businesses and given up oppressive day jobs, and we have shown up for ourselves and learned boundaries and negotiated major freaking deals and been promoted and bought new homes and quit being massively hard on ourselves.
But where relationship is concerned? I explain it like this. You don’t have to be at the same place. You don’t have to be as realized as your partner; to mediate with the right openness or frequency, to have as many experiences or epiphanies, BUT you do need to be on a path, shall we say. Because Friends, it turns out that you are either looking at what is going down or you are looking the other way, which is tantamount to avoiding, and that does not line up.
My guy is right, as in NOT WRONG, when he says you gotta love you.
It is kind of important.
But so much more important is that you DESERVE to love you.
You deserve to feel good in your own skin.
You deserve to actually feel HAPPY.
You deserve to understand and sometimes you deserve to heal.
Your deserve to be able to choose, from a place of intention.
Not just cross your fingers and yourself and pray to the Elves to do your bidding.
You deserve to have a say in what comes down the pipe.
To create a loving family, even if yours fell short.
To create a loving relationship, even if your last ten fell short.
To experience true intimacy.
To be on the same team as your beloved.
To raise your children with awareness and nurturing.
To place your career and your cash in service of your emotional health and joy, without giving it all up.
Yep, you my beautiful friend deserve this, and SO MUCH MORE.
So my take away is this.
Jump in the lake. Sleep naked. Steal ice from everywhere with wanton and reckless abandon.
But also, while you are staggering the desert of delirium, dream a little dream of an oasis of SUPPORT, not just for hose and bras anymore. Someone to love you, and hear you, and help you know how truly fucking great you really are. I know it, shouldn’t you?
Bring it home to your toy poodle, or your old wo/man, to your hamster Susie, she is so fluffy and cute and really deserves the best of you. When you stress she stresses. And she is down right tired of you running on her wheel and can’t do one more night of Ben and Jerry’s for dinner.
Oooh ice cream. I’ll take if off your hands.
I want to thank you for joining me tonight in this rapid detox sauna in clothing experience.
I feel like we’ve been through a shamanic death together.
You, me, the ice water pouring girls and that lovely couple from North Van.
Yes I probably can help you with your sex life, if it’s an emotional issue.
Would it be weird if I asked you to blow on me?
Drop me a line. If you’ve got a problem, I’ve got a person.
— Much love,
The Lady of the Lake (formerly known as Erin)
P.S. 2021 I am bringing on the love. I’ll be featured in a podcast all about better loving, from healing your broken heart to intentional dating to creating a relationship that thrives, and I’ll be launching a sister site for all of you relationship and love enthusiasts, with all kinds of insights and offerings. Stay tuned!
P.P.S. One of the kindest things you can do for me is to share my writing. If you enjoyed today’s Monday Musing and know someone else who would please forward it to a friend.