I arrived early and sat watching great big chunks of snowflakes falling on my windshield. The world looked beautiful.
Mesmerized by the snow, I almost missed a former client walk right past my car. Excited to see him, I jumped out of my car, flailed my arms, and called to him. I was excited! We met together for weekly sessions for a few years during and after high school. It had now been years since I’ve seen him! After hugging and catching up, I learned he walked about 5 miles home every night from this job at Rite Aid. (In the dark. With no hat.) Of course I drove him home and was glad to do so, because it meant learning more about how his life was going. I was so happy to have connected and heard his good news.
Last week, I received the follow email from another former client:
Hi Jodi! I was just thinking about you yesterday, missing you and then last night you appeared in my dream. In my dream I was worried about something and needed to tell you but didn’t know where you were and then you showed up with your great smile and gave me a great big hug and held me tight so that I’d know you were there. Thanks for visiting me! Sending you lots of love, and hoping all is going well for you.
Everyone we interact with becomes a part of us. Everyone I interact with becomes a part of me, and I them. The therapy room is a sacred place where sometimes people reveal what they have not revealed to anyone else, so this is especially so. It is an honor to witness people’s innermost thoughts. (Thoughts they often think are “crazy” and weird, but are exactly what everyone else is thinking.) When our conversations open their minds to new possibilities and help them soar to new heights in their lives, I am inspired beyond measure. The people and the conversations dissolve into me, since I am different and new each hour for having experienced them.
It creates a connection, a bond. When bumping into former clients, they see me and know that I know them. I mean, really know them. I see them and I want to be caught up on this or that. I want to hear the rest of the story since we left off. (It is like I stopped a novel halfway through.) I wish and hope that they are happy in their lives and feel an overwhelming sense of caring for them. They are as much a part of me and I am of them.
Many clients tell me that they talk to me in their heads when they are struggling or think, “What would Jodi say here?” when they are making a decision. I tell them that I was there. I believe that when we imagine the presence of someone, they are there. The caring can be felt, and we can connect with how they see us. It is most important when we are thinking negatively about ourselves to bring in a voice of someone who cares and sees us in a positive, beautiful way. This helps me when I am having a hard day.
People can, even if it is just a moment, experience their identity through my eyes. And this might help them feel better. Influence and compassion stays with us long after physical presence, available to us whenever we need it, we only have to conjure it up. This is another way we never lose people (Understanding Impermanence: Even Loss is Temporary!)
So conjure away, I am here. I am there. I think you are fantastically amazing and I always will, (even if you don’t think so) no matter what!