In my book You’re Not Crazy and You’re Not Alone, I told the story about a very bland, vanilla, flavorless kind of therapist I saw years ago during a parade of therapists in my life as I was trying to sort out some stuff.
They all have different flavors of personalities. This one was like dry toast.
You know: the kind your mom gives you when you’ve been throwing up for days and you’re finally ready to have a little something to see if you can hold it down.
It was my sixth week, which I had determined would be my last, because I was tired of sitting there in silence. She was of the certain philosophical training where she literally would just stare at me and not speak a word until I spoke which, of course, became a challenge for me. The first few sessions I was confused. By the fourth I was looking at my watch. “10 minutes. 15 minutes. 20 minutes. No talking. Hmmm…”
I just kept pushing it until we sat in silence for almost an entire hour.
It was ridiculous.
I spent my hard-earned money staring at this slight, fragile-seeming woman who was as pale as if she needed a blood transfusion and some vitamins — and wouldn’t talk to me until I spoke first.
I was going to need therapy to recover from the therapy I was/wasn’t having.
On my final day with her, I asked her one question, “Do you have anything you’d suggest I work on at home that would help me to move my healing forward?”
and she gave me one answer that made all six weeks of nothingness completely worth it.
She just looked at me and said, “Hold onto the good, Stacey. You’re already well-practiced at worrying and thinking things are going to go wrong. When something good comes your way this week, practice holding onto it.”
I wanted to kiss her full on the lips for that, but I was afraid she might disintegrate into dust.
I nodded, thanked her, and left.
I will be forever grateful for that irritating, scratchy, dry-toast woman who gave me the delicious advice that day 25 years ago.
That has not just been a challenge for me, alone. As I’ve coached clients the last 20 years in their personal growth and toward living their dream life, I have heard woman after woman — no matter how successful in business, relationships, or personal goals — tell me how it’s hard to hold onto the good in some areas of their lives.
Whether it was the cultural upbringing, like in my Italian family where there can be a feast of negativity served alongside the guilt and worry that you eat at every meal.
Or it’s the religion that has the doomsday attitude about everything in life, including the good stuff.
Or it’s just this:
That sometimes it feels safer to be anticipate the worst than it does to enjoy the best because if you’re already down low, you don’t have far to fall.
Yeah. Ugh. I know.
It’s a way to keep ourselves safe from getting hurt.
Anticipate the hurt, the worst, the bad ending and then, the pain won’t catch you by surprise and break your heart as hard because you were expecting it.
Yeah. That’s a lot of what it is for the women I talk to. They don’t want to hold onto the good because they don’t want to be sideswiped by the pain.
I get it.
What does that have to do with our dream series?
Dreams are good things.
And sometimes we sabotage or let them go because we’re afraid that we can’t handle the good. We feel safer in the struggle of life and not as safe in the acquisition of greatness.
It’s a mindset that stepping toward your dreams will provoke. Meaning this: As you take the action steps that we talked about in last week’s post, you will get provoked by the beliefs that you have inside of you.
Sometimes those beliefs are that you’re not worthy, or that you’re afraid of changing, or you’re afraid the good thing won’t last…
So, it’s tempting to give up the dream when it starts pushing the buttons of your belief systems.
This is the gift of the dream.
The dream isn’t only something that you’re creating, the dream is also creating you. It’s challenging you. It’s forming you.
It’s healing you.
By bringing up all the gunky stuff that’s on the inside.
I remember around that same time 25 years ago, I went to a weekend workshop that addressed limiting beliefs. For three days we worked on what was undoing us. It was an intense and life-altering ass-kicking.
One of the women said to me, “You need to work on your container.”
I was confused.
She said, “Let’s say you want to lose weight or make $10,000… whatever it is. If you are powerful to manifest it but are not powerful to hold it, you will lose it every time.”
Holy guacamole, Batman.
I got it.
The message was coming in loud after Dry Toast Lady and then, this.
The container was my beliefs. I needed to work on them so that when good came my way, I didn’t let it slip through my fingers like grains of sand with ideas of unworthiness and fear.
I have learned how to not only create dreams of a loving family, or greater health, or writing books, or Italian retreats — but I have learned (and am still learning) to hold onto the good.
Is this making you prickly under your armpits because you can relate? Is this part of your journey too?
Totally get it — so, here you go:
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to hold onto the good too.
Notice where you sabotage or err on the side of worry or catastrophizing and recognize that this is a habit that you’ve had — and it’s time to build a new one.
It’s time to hold onto the good.
Sending you big love and dreams coming true…
I would love for you to join me in Italy! Check out my Italian retreat. Three spaces left and I can’t wait to share it with you!
If you’d like to work on Holding Onto the Good in a coaching session, take a peek at my coaching page and then, contact me for a session. I would love to take life to the next level with you. xo