Monday Musing

So Pogue.

I know a lady who has passed into and out of my life over a number of years. It’s a pleasure to see her when she appears again but, I’m afraid to say, it’s normally a relief when she leaves. And the reason? Well, as long as I have known she has been receiving counselling and goes on receiving counselling. For what? Well, I can say with a high degree of certainty that it has it’s roots in issue from her upbringing. If she’s in your proximity for any time, she will start to tell and retell you the issues.

We repeat what we don’t repair.

And here’s the thing. There comes a point now when, having crossed each other’s paths frequently, I want to say: “Look, you need to get over yourself”. All the counselling has been done to death. The situation is going to get no better than it is in this moment, now. Today is the day to make a decision to move forward, to walk away from the past, from whatever happened. Today is the day to write healed across her life and put the past behind her.

I am convinced that counselling can be an effective tool in helping people deal with trauma, emotionally charged issues, grief and many more things. It has real value. But it is a step up, an aid to determining the way forward after life has stalled. Yes some things are deeply painful and have gone on far too long, especially when the victim is trapped on the path of upbringing. But counselling remains an aid to finding the direction forward, a means for putting the past behind us.

Think of physical therapy, perhaps after a trauma, that helps a person regain they faculties, perhaps their mobility and gives them back quality of life as far as movement goes. OK, so some people will never go back to so called normal but the aim is to enable them to move forward with life not stay forever in a debilitated state. There comes a day when the patient should walk forward. Maybe there will have to be an acceptance that this is as good as it gets but they move on as best they can.

Alas, the lady I talk about seems to have set up camp at the point of counselling. I would dare to say she sees this as a necessity of life, normal life. It has become part of her identity, a comfort aid. I’m not sure she wants to be healed. Does she enjoy telling others about her past? Well, for those who don’t know her it gets attention and sympathy. But does she realise it is now her identity? That life no longer goes on for her and, where she probably has 40 or 50 years to live, in her current state she will not live them but relive the years gone before, over and over.

Pogue, I accept that some people are so emotionally damaged by events that they are not, barring a miracle, going to move on. But even they have a future before them, however limited, and possibilities albeit small. But there are many people today who have made their past their identity and dwell there. They want to rerun it over and over thus giving an excuse for not embracing life going forward. Pogue, we all undergo hurt and pain in our lives. It effects us in varying degrees. Sometimes it causes us to draw up short, to stop, to retreat to a safe place for a while. Occasionally, we need help to get ourselves back together because, well, things are a mess. It may take time. We may stumble as we pick ourselves up. But there comes a time, if we are to live life, when we need to take a positive grip and write ‘healed’ over our lives.

“Instead of saying ‘I’m damaged, I’m broken, I have trust issues’ say ‘I’m healing, I’m rediscovering myself, I’m starting over’ Positive self-talk.”


There is a mental step to be made, a first step, a step forward. We need to tell ourselves: “This no longer has power over me”. Yes the past will always be the past. Our history is our history. Yes, it will have power in our lives, as we begin the walk forward but as we continue to deny it, it’s power will lessen. There is much we can do to help ourselves. Maybe small steps at first. Maybe very small steps. But there is always a future for those who choose to follow it.

Pogue, let’s remember we have a future and a better day. You will never heal by going back to what broke you.

Yours, writing healed,


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