First of all…this one goes out to my little buddy, best friend and confident, Mr. Griffin Casper Monn…
I don’t like endings. I don’t like goodbyes, see ya’s, or doors closing. But sometimes, they’re necessary. Recently, I’ve come to the realization I will soon have to do what will be the hardest thing I probably have ever done and might ever do in my entire life; have my dog Griffin put to sleep. For many reasons, it is time, and well, I guess I’ve been putting off this harsh reality far too long. It doesn’t make it any easier that he’s been with me through all of the hard times, gets excited when he sees me and although he’s crazy, he’s my little buddy. As said in “My Dog Skip”, “I was an only child, he was an only dog.” And so was our relationship.
I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to accept this realization and move on to the point where “it was ok”, until tonight when I came home and read an email I received from a client. Before sharing it with you, let me say, in my field, it is a wonderful thing to see the student pass the teacher. I haven’t asked her permission, but I’m sure she won’t mind. She’s an amazing young woman, and more beautiful in so many ways than she even knows herself. I hope you learn as much from her letter as I did…
I know it has only been a day, but somehow I missed you already. lol
I do this dorky thing whenever I end something, no matter if it is moving, graduating,or finishing my first book. I always journal about the lessons I have learned. This morning I journaled about you and for whatever reason I wanted to share it with you. It is long and completely imperfect- but my thoughts. I know you already know, all of the lessons I learned, because you taught them to me. I guess I want you to know how much of an impact you made on my life. Somehow I have changed for the better; I could have never done it without you.
I am sure you get this all of the time, seeing how you are in the business of changing lives for the better, but thank you so much. Thank you doesn’t seem like enough but it is the only word I can think of- so thanks.
If you care to read my unedited journal entry about the lessons I learned from you…….
Live, Dream, Hope
Yesterday was my last session with Psychotherapist Peter Monn. I am sad to see it come to an end. Peter has been part of my life for the past ten weeks. What an amazing ten weeks it has been. My favorite part is that for the first time in a long time I feel as if I am moving forward. Everyday I am progressing as a person. In hopes of remembering some of the many lessons I have learned I am going to take note of them here.
1. Little Things- the little things make the biggest difference. Notice them, enjoy them, love them, and make sure to include them as a big part of everyday.
2. I choose how I feel- no one can make me feel anything. If I feel a certain way it is my choice. If you don’t want to feel a certain way- then don’t. Simple as that!
3. I am absolutely adorable- my bod is so far from perfect, but it is the only one I get! It is important for me to love it, take care of it, accept it, see it for what it really is (don’t tell myself lies good or bad about it, just see it).
4. Be gentle with myself- I am going to make mistakes, lots of them. It is important to remember that mistakes are a big part of this crazy life. I can learn from all of them. I don’t need to beat myself up about any mistake, learn from them and move on. In order to live my life to the fullest I have to take risks and step out of my comfort zone, with both of those things come mistakes. So be ok with making mistakes- it is part of life!
5. Be Here- I have the tendency to think I will be happy when….. I have come to realize the only moment I really have is the present one. It is so important to enjoy now this moment. Right now I am journaling and I heart it! In the morning when I am driving to work I am really just driving, usually jamming out to one of my favorite songs- sometimes it is my favorite part of the day.
6. Forgiveness- this is such and important part of living. LET GO!!! Forgive myself and those around me, because without forgiveness I am the person who misses out on so much.
7. The Truth- it holds so much power. And telling it holds even more. TELL THE TRUTH!!!
8. Live- Dance in the rain, sing in the car, laugh out loud, notice the things everyone else overlooks. Bring a little Star Girl into everyday.
9. Dreams- It is so important to have them, to fight for them, and most importantly to allow them to change. As life happens we change, so it would be silly for our dreams not to. When a dream changes, it isn’t giving up, it isn’t a failure. It has changed, because we have learned a new reality, perception, or belief. For example- as a child I always stated I wanted to live in every state. Now as an adult I have moved several times and now realize in order to live in every state I would have to move far more then I would ever care to. If I look at the reason behind wanting to live in every state- it is that I wanted to experience new places, see new things, meet people with a different perspective then my own, and experience the world around me. With the same base my dream has become a trip around the world, visit every state, and hopefully live abroad. My dream has technically changed, but yet it is still the same. I guess where Peter comes into all of this, is he helped me see that I still have my dreams. My dream of a temple marriage and being a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints came crashing down when I stopped believing (go figure). I lost hope in my future and constantly felt like I was disappointing myself by giving up on my dreams and the person I wanted to be. Peter showed me that even though my dreams have change, the base is the same, they are still my dreams and I can still hope for them. I no longer choose to base my spirituality or worth off of a check list of dos and don’ts, in hopes of reaching the highest level of exaltation. I do however still want God to be part of my everyday and amazingly enough God is everywhere. My new dream is still in the works, but I haven’t given up on my dream of having God in my life, and it is my new dream to make sure it happens. As for a temple marriage, I still dream of sharing my life with someone, loving someone unconditionally and having them love me in return. It seems like a long shot, but somewhere someday I hope I find someone. The dream companionship is the base; just the location and dynamics of what marriage is to me, are now very different. If we let our dreams change with us, I believe that our dreams will eventually end up somewhat greater then we had originally planned.
10. It is up to me- This is my life, I have to be the one to make something of it! I kind of thought Peter would just be able to tell me all of the answers or what I should do. He could somehow miraculously make me whole again. Unfortunately Peter isn’t all knowing. Lol In fact whenever I asked Peter what I should do, he always answered with a question, usually a question I didn’t want to answer. There was the constant question of why I cared so much what he thought. Somehow he helped me see that I have all of the answers, I know what is best for me!
11. We aren’t that different- Mormon, Jewish, Atheist, Catholic, Gay, Straight, Bi, Black, White, Rich, Poor, Believers, Non-Believers, used to be Mormons…… we are all different, but in the end I think we are all just trying to get through each day.
12. It is OK- At some point during the last ten weeks, I am not sure when, I discovered that it is ok. It is ok that I am not perfect, it is ok when someone asks if I am Mormon, it is ok if I don’t answer, it is ok if my relationship with my mom is different then how I hoped it would be, it is ok that I have never been in love, it is ok that I was a virgin until I was 25, it is ok that I lied, it is ok that I taught myself to read, it is ok that I disappoint my mother everyday, it is ok that I don’t care, it is ok that my parent are poor, it is ok. At this point I don’t understand how or why, but it is ok.
The thing about everything Peter taught me is the day to day of my life has stayed the same. I get up go to work, live in Indiana, struggle with dating, workout just enough, but somewhere along the way my life has changed. It is so much better! I smile because I want to, not because I should. I am struggling to describe the change in me, but I like it! I am so lucky to have worked with Peter Monn. I am so lucky he was willing to work with me, listen to me, guild me, support me…. Yep me, a lost soul full of truths waiting to be told, tears to be cried, and dreams to be shared. I am so thankful to Peter. I hope Peter will always be part of my life. I hope I will remember the things he taught me. I hope to become a better person then I am. I hope to see out my dreams. Most importantly I have HOPE!!!!
We could learn SO much from the sayings of our past. “When one door closes, another opens”. Recently, I had a client who found out she had breast cancer. She came in to see more for her second session after her diagnosis and said, “I believe I’m cured. I don’t need to come back.” And began laughing. And she was probably correct. Because it was in how she handled her diagnosis that made ALL the difference. Within the first week, she started a blog, began removing resentment and anger from her life, began interacting with people differently, focused on what made her happy, and saw it as a starting point for everything positive in her life. She actually believed her breast cancer diagnosis was a good thing. Her relationships began to improve and she saw hope everywhere in her life. A good thing! And I believe it was. And she will survive. Because she’s a survivor.
And I’m a survivor. And we’re all survivors. If we choose to be…
And I’ll do what I have to do and have my little dog put to sleep. And probably for many, many months, if not years, I’ll miss my little guy dearly. But as also said in “My Dog Skip”…He won’t be buried in the backyard, in reality, “He’s buried deep within my heart.”
Thank you for reminding me today.
Be bitterly honest, brutally loving and purposely kind…because…
“We’re on borrowed time as it is…”