My hands were fingering the crisp pages of new book at the bookstore. I had been expecting, truthfully, a little bit of a monstrosity. We're talking 90s primary color swirls with cheesy captions that almost involuntarily draw the words out your mouth: "I'm buying this for a friend."
So on the bright side, it was already exceeding my expectations.
I sat down with it for a moment. If it was truly terrible, I was prepared to tell her that this kind of 'daily wisdom' book really wasn't my thing (I mean, where was the meat?), and I didn't feel that this particular one would benefit me. And did I already say it was expensive?
I read "January 1st's" entry, and various other random dates. My reaction alternated between muted annoyance at airy-fairy generalities and genuine appreciation of the nuggets of wisdom. I became aware that my expression was that fixed knit-brow that I wear when I'm trying to find the hard, cold, granite floor of an issue.
But you know what? I didn't sign up for counseling so that I could "outsmart" (or outpride?) my counselor. Maybe it will be a good read, and maybe it won't, but if I'm doing this, then I need to submit myself fully to the process. To her. Even if the book does turn out to be cheesy.
I decided to enter myself in counseling about a month ago, and had my first session recently. I've quietly watched my whole broken family go through counseling - amazingly rather simultaneously - over the last couple years, and I've watched them make deep and bountiful change in their lives. They are each a testament to the power of working through one's past. I know I have some family things to sit down and hash out, but I was mostly contented with doing some reading for awhile. It's easy to put off when for all intensive purposes, you basically function well.
But I became convinced that it was time when two things happened: first, I learned about a Christian place that could take my insurance, and second, I realized that some of the things I need to work through are never going to steal the show publicly. Because after all, I do function well, and am for the most part quite happy. I could probably go the rest of my life without ever really digging into those places and not be too far off track.
But I wouldn't ever know what those hidden things stole from me if I hadn't. And my guess is, the theft would be priceless.
For that matter, I think most of what haunts us does so underneath the surface. I want to go there, and root it out, even if it's painful. And even though I know my friends love me and are there for me, I don't want to put strain on our friendship by making them do that work with me. Nope. This is going to be a workout, a journey, a blast from the past (ha!) and probably some other things as well.
And it may involve some cheesy books, but who cares? I can get off my high horse for that. It's worth it.