Do you ever wonder if you make a difference? If your life has any meaning? I wonder that sometimes. When I was a child, I wanted to be someone people remembered. I believed there was this one great history book, and I wanted to be in it. We moved around a lot when I was a child, and I worried that people would forget me after we left.
Oddly enough, I moved into an occupation/avocation in which I rarely get to see the full impact of my relationship with people. Rather than being a tidal wave that everyone notices and remembers, I have become more of a pebble in a bucket. The change I help to facilitate is on a much smaller scale. While I bring myself fully into the therapy room, the focus is not on me or on what I want but on my clients. Rather than being the star, I am more of a behind the scenes sort of a person. How do I make peace with this change in plans?
One of my favorite musicians, David LaMotte, wrote a song entitled, "Drops Like Me." The song starts with a single drop of water and then goes on to describe what many drops together can do. What I love about the song is the end of the chorus where he says, "We will roll on together til everyone can see that the mighty tidal wave is made of little bitty drops like me." I am small but part of something mighty.
I am not alone but am surrounded by other "drops." When I come together with a client, we become stronger together and can make amazing change. The change often appears small and gradual, but then, the Grand Canyon used to be a lot shallower sometime ago. I have learned to look for and appreciate small changes. I celebrate each time clients take a step. Maybe they exercised. Maybe they asked for something they wanted. Maybe they brushed their teeth last night. All of these things can represent the start of great things.
My clients, honestly, have become my heroes. They live their lives, they keep persevering, and they have the courage to show up. I am honored to be with them. I am content not to be center stage because I have the joy of witnessing what they are able to do and watching their creativity and imagination come forth. The experience is awe-inspiring, and I am able to be a part.
I wonder what changes you are making in the world around you and in yourself. When was the last time you looked for something positive to affirm in yourself? Have you tried something different lately? Have you taken a moment to be gentle with yourself or to give yourself grace?
Recovery is not a tidal wave. It is a series of choices, one at a time, that ultimately engrave new rivers and canyons in the ground. The goal is not to become perfect all at once but to make the best decision you can at any given moment. Over time, it can be fascinating to see the lengths and patterns you have made that you might never have noticed. It all starts, however, with one drop. Do not underestimate yourself or the power that you have to make a difference. You, too, are part of the "mighty tidal wave." If you need some help charting your course or making sense of your journey, however, I hope you will find me. I would be happy to join with you in creating your mark on this earth.