When my daughters were little, I loved to write stories just for them.
One such story was about a lobster named Louis (my father’s name) who liked his shell so much he did not want to have to change. One day he decided to run away thinking that would prevent the inevitable.
As we all know, if it’s inevitable, it can’t be prevented and some things in nature are… our nature.
For Louis, running away resulted in a series of misadventures that almost got him trapped in a lobster cage (it looked safe!) until finally, he fell asleep behind a rock only to awake to discover his shell had deserted him.
Embarrassed by his shell-less body, he dug a hole in the ocean floor and buried himself in the sand.
Of course, in his shell-less/defenseless state, it was the best thing he could do. Looking out at the darkness around him, he discovered another pair of eyes looking back at him — it was a lady lobster named Sue who was also hiding beneath the sand.
The long and short of it… They fell in love with the sound of each other’s voice and the words of comfort they shared (not quite that mushily in the story ’cause Louis was scared and Sue was wise and witty…)
Anyway, what Louis learned is what the story was all about — no matter where you go, or what you do, or how you look, or how deep the hole you’ve dug for yourself…. being yourself is the only way to be, ’cause being yourself is where Love will always find you.
Louis’ story drifted into my mind in the early morning hours as I lay soaking in the bath, the light of a candle flickering and classical music playing softly in the background.
I’d awoken with a dream in which I was chasing a butterfly through a field of wildflowers and fell over the edge of a cliff to land in a bed of roses.
I’d awoken at 4 from a dream where I was angry and couldn’t remember about what. As I wasn’t getting back to sleep I decided to have a bath.
It does makes sense that I was thinking about anger. I’d been speaking with someone about anger earlier in the day. They asked me, “How do you get over anger?”
You don’t, I reply. You go through it.
Anger in the moment can be a powerful force for change (as long as we express it appropriately), I said. Anger many years later is a sign of something deeper. Have you considered seeing a therapist?
I’m not broken, they exclaimed.
And that was when it struck me — as a society we sometimes hold a collective view that seeing a therapist is a sign of what is wrong with us.
For me, seeing a therapist is about acknowledging things that aren’t working for me anymore and seeking help to find my way through. It’s about getting right within myself so that I can walk through the world doing the right things to create a better place.
You cannot heal or change what you do not acknowledge.
Therapy is the opportunity to heal those things that no longer work for you.
For years after my brother died, I carried this unsettling anger about his choices and the things he’d done. Holding onto it wasn’t making my world a more peaceful, loving place today. It was holding me stuck in the past.
Anger needs to be released and the best way to do that is to let it flow into the Love that is always there. And sometimes, we need a guide to help us find our path.
Like Louis and Sue who shared the darkness and found their way home to themselves — ’cause that’s where Love will always find us, no matter how far we run.