The Laugh is On Me

Have you ever received a gift, put it aside, and then sometime later (maybe months or even years) rediscovered it?  This just happened to me.  Admittedly, when I first received this gift I poo pooed it as so terribly cliché for what you’d think a therapist would have on her shelf, if not in her handbag: a box of “Power Thought Cards” (aka a box of affirmations).  There are 64 whimsically and colorfully decorated square cut cards holding words we’d likely hear Maya Randolph and Kristen Wiig exchange in a Saturday Night Live skit portraying a yoga retreat led by millenials.  In that context, their hysterically overdone breathy communication combined with the spa music playing in the background would make a mockery of what it means to speak to ourselves with love and compassion – the only tried and true way we come to accept and heal ourselves from within.  That may sound trite, but it’s also true.  

The other day, I was grappling with an honest mistake I’d made.  I always encourage clients to be gentle with themselves when having a bout with their own humanity and there I was trying to take my own advice.  Feeling vulnerable, I picked up the box of cards for the umpteenth time and pulled out a card. Here’s what it said: 

As I move through
the layers of other people’s
opinions and beliefs,
I see within myself
a magnificent being,
wise and beautiful.
I love what
I see in me.

It was exactly what I needed to hear.  In that moment, the gift that I’d initially laughed off as too therapist-y reminded me of why I chose to become a therapist, how much I love being one, and that there’s nothing more grounding or restorative than a well nurtured internal home. That deck of cards now has a prominent place on my shelf and the one card, in particular, has found its way into my handbag. Some things you just shouldn’t leave home without.