Space and light
As human beings, we're guilty of being problem-orientated. Even our small talk (in a very British way) revolves around the shortcomings of the weather.
And while illness is very real to the person experiencing it, it can also become self-defining. A story takes on a life of its own if it's repeated often enough. We might say the same for our self-narrative - a script that can play out, often unknowingly limits us by definition of the description.
In coaching, there is no greater privilege than pointing to innate wellbeing. It only took me nearly 40 years to see it (!), but when I did it transformed my world. For years I took on board the labels and descriptions that appeared to define me, oblivious to the realisation that they were written in pencil not ink.
And now when I sit with someone who is struggling with dark moods and anxious thinking, I know it's a place I have inhabited, and how deeply held the narrative is around limitation and lack. In this hinterland of confusion and perpetual doubt and fear, there is little room for light.
Yet there is always space and there is absolutely always light.
We speak so much about being broken and needing to be fixed. But maybe the very act of striving to fix, is what keeps us in a place of constriction? The concept of being whole and healthy is alien to us, because we cannot see past the heavy weight of thinking.
And in the act of rearranging, analysing and challenging thinking, we overlook the very nature of thought...which is transient and only ever influential if we give it attentional energy. If we believe it says something about who we are, then of course it will dictate our experience of life, and in doing so, we are servants to its constant state of flux and fickle instability.
So instead, perhaps there is an opportunity to speak to the wellness in ourselves and others. To see beyond what thinking is telling us (no matter now convincing that is) and glimpse the connected whole we really are. From despair, comes hope - the flicker of a wobbly smile, which expands, creates space and lets the light in.