The results of ‘trying to be more open’
I’ve posted here the last two weeks on being open to experience, and showing my workings. Perhaps ironically, the post i WANTED to write today is one that feels TOO open, and so I am choosing not to post it. It’s hiding in a private post, waiting for me to become braver.
But also of note are what I’ve noticed as a result of trying to put in to practice the things I blogged about. We had our training weekend, and it was tough on many levels. There is a tutor on my course that in day to day life, I get on fine with; I like them. In class, I often feel left and misheard by them. It is an experience witnessed by members of my cohort as well (by which I mean it’s not just in my head, which is always a possibility!). They were my tutor for this weekend, and in all honesty, I was dreading it. The topic for the weekend was ‘trauma’ and that’s not usually an easy weekend a- we all have our own traumas that cause us to view life through various filters, and when we are asked specifically to look at trauma, it is very hard not to look at OUR trauma. Like many people, there are aspects of trauma that resonate deeply with me, and it was difficult to see this ‘ending well’.
Also this weekend, I knew that it would be interpersonally hard, as some issues had arisen that needed resolving, and as one of the people involved, I was finding the idea of that hard. But all through the weekend, I kept trying to think about being open, about showing my workings; about not just ‘delivering’ pronouncements, but letting people see where I was coming from.
You would not believe how hard that was…..
I’m not saying I succeeded all weekend, but I was trying hard. And then towards the end of the weekend, someone commented that they were finding me softer than normal. I felt more heard by my tutor also – certainly there were no instances of being ‘missed’, and there was a point in class where it might all have gone disastrously wrong, but perhaps because of this, when a decision had to be made, the ‘right’ decision was made. After my fellow-student commented that they found me softer, my tutor also commented this, and that having seen the ‘softer’ me made them look forward to seeing the ‘spiky’ me.
I found it spill over into my ‘normal life’ also. I have a new person in my life and we met on Saturday evening for a few hours. We spent a couple of hours just wandering around Nottingham talking, and as I saw them off on their train they commented ‘thank you for making it easy for me to talk’. We hadn’t talked about anything massively in depth, but I had again been aware as we were talking that I wanted to say where I was when I was speaking, and I wanted to be open to whatever came from them. I digested what landed and tried not to ‘react’ to things, but instead to wonder about how they were arriving. My immediate quip was that ‘at least psychotherapy training is good for something’, but it is true – this training is showing me how to calm down; how to experience. It seems to have take a couple of weeks to sink in – I’m not yet aware of it specifically in my relationship with my partner, but actually, I see bits of change there also, and I’m pleased.