Welcome to the first post of my new blog – The Psychotherapist. This will be a space for reflection about some experiences in life we can all learn from. It will also be a place for sharing useful information and some important lessons I learn from my work as a psychotherapist in London. My hope is that you, the reader, will be able to engage with my musings and that this will be helpful for your journey.
But what to write on a first blog post? Well, when I was doing some research into what makes a blog successful, I kept stumbling upon a very useful piece of advice: post as often and as consistently as you can. In other words: be constant and consistent. And then it dawned on me that this was not just useful for blog writing, nor only for the activities one might engage on, but that it actually pointed to an important principle in life.
My father once said something that got my attention when I was a younger. It was not very poetic, but it contained an important message. His saying (or almost a short story) was: “I know a lot people who have nothing in life. Do you want to know why? I’ll tell you why: it’s because they never finish what they have started.” Perseverance, reliability, constancy and consistency are not magical secrets for success, but they surely contribute a great deal for things to work out in many aspects of life.
On the other hand, broken promises, failed resolutions, disappointing half-ends can also become a constant, and this negative constancy can fuel our sense of failure. Regret and resentment can then take place, as we ask ourselves: if only we continued with what we once started, that diet, going to the gym, a course, a relationship – if only… In fact, regret and resentment can bring our lives to a literal standstill.
Doctors say that taking only half of the course of antibiotics can actually make the bacteria or virus stronger. I think the same can be applied to the fluctuations between our trying and failing. If we break consistency, we begin to falter. And as we begin to fail, that oppressive and incriminating part of us becomes enhanced and can become all the more cruel.
Our own resistance to pursue the things we know will be beneficial to us is also striking. Self-sabotaging is one of the most puzzling things I encounter in my practice as a psychotherapist. The capacity to undermine ourselves, to cruelly make us fail can be hard to understand. So to say that consistency is an easy principle to follow would be a lie. But it is a great principle to aim towards. In fact, part of how psychotherapy works is actually by promoting consistency and constancy, in a way that perseverance and reliability both from therapist and patient are paramount.
So my struggle to keep up with this blog is but a fraction of my innate disposition to break consistency, to seek failure no matter how noble the intentions are. As for this to work, I’ll keep on posting. And from your end, please keep turning up!