I have wondered for some time now whether talking is enough on its own. I feel that it is easy for someone like me to make claims about how it helps but I do wonder if we as practitioners get too bogged down in our own vanity to see that other people aren’t always helped in the way we think they should be.
If talking leads to insight then it can change the way we behave; it can change our emotional belief system. Perhaps it isn’t thinking which is entirely key to a happier, more contented life, perhaps it is our emotional response which is just as important.
It is true that being able to tell someone how you feel; what is troubling you is part of being human. The reception you get from that person is equally important which is why we go to a properly trained person we trust. However, we harbour such emotionally damaging responses and prejudices within ourselves which go right back into our childhood that we need to practice the art of having insight into how we behave.
The insight we need into our own emotions and the way we respond to certain triggers and re-enact damaging cycles of behaviour in our lives is undoubtedly helped by talking to a professional. I also feel it can be helped by eastern methods of meditation or by practising being alone and sitting in one’s own company for a short while each day and listening to how we are feeling, what we are thinking at that particular time. Getting to know yourself on your own is difficult because we feel we have to be up and doing. But I feel our real homework is to try and be in our own company and watch ourselves, talk to ourselves and begin to be kind to ourselves.
My most useful times have been spent in the struggle of getting to know myself. We can only ever know a tiny bit about others however much they tell us; however open they are. Perhaps in the struggle of our anxiety to be happy and be loved we need to take a bit of time out. All the wise people in the world talk about liking yourself first before you can really like others. I realised that however trite that sounds it doesn’t make it any less true.