With the unfaltering understanding and completely non judgemental attitudes of my counsellor, Dr Vinaya……helped me put the pieces of my life together
Counseling has been such an enriching experience! Yet when I attempt to put down in writing what the process did for me, I don’t quite know where to begin.
It was at one of those coffee breaks at the work place when a friend casually mentioned that she was undergoing counseling. As I was to learn later during my own counseling sessions, there is a reason for everything that happens in the universe. This chat with my friend was a precursor of things to come. Barely a few weeks later, my very carefully constructed world came crashing down. I blindly turned to my friend and told her to take me to her counselor. She did. Thus began a journey I have now come to cherish. A journey that took me into myself – a place I had not been to before. It was anything but a joyride. But with the unfaltering understanding and the completely non-judgmental attitude of my counselor, Vinaya, as my crutches, I managed to hang in there. Bit by bit, she helped me put back the pieces of my life together. She helped me gain insights into my behaviour patterns and “see” why I was behaving in ways that were more disruptive than helpful. Together we unearthed some of my belief systems that had been leading me to behave in ways that were unpleasant. And when I saw why I was doing what I was doing, I knew that I simply had to change.
And change I did. Now when I look back, I feel that the change happened so very subtly, without my even knowing it. This was obviously thanks to Vinaya’s skills, her gentle but firm approach, the deftness with which she used the theories and processes inherent to counseling, the shrewdness coupled with extreme practicality with which she taught me to deal with situations – all of which helped me understand myself.
This improved vision that I had of myself also meant that I got to see better, literally. For years, I had been a slave to high powered contact lenses (I was very short sighted). As a child, I had been diagnosed with glaucoma, an eye condition whereby the pressure in the eyes increases to the extent that it affects vision. And glaucoma is known to eventually lead to blindness. Since I had contracted the disease very early in life (I was 12 when it was detected), the chances of my becoming blind at an early age too were pretty high. To make matters worse, I developed cataract in both my eyes when I stepped into my thirties. So there I was, blindly walking towards blindness, with no clue as to what to do about it except follow the doctor’s advice to the T. Sure, a doctor’s prescriptions do help, but as I now know, they only deal with the surface condition. It needs to be coupled with therapy to get to the real reason behind the ailment and when that happens, you do heal.
Vinaya taught me that real power, real vision, lies behind the eyes, not within the eyes. It is the way we look at life, at ourselves, at the significant others in our life, which determines how well we can see.
As I’ve said earlier, the events in our lives take place in an order that is predestined, in an order that defies human logic. As things turned out, the surgery to remove the cataract in my eyes was scheduled shortly after my therapy sessions concluded. I must confess that though I did believe that therapy had enriched my life, I still did not realize the full extent to which it had. This is something I “saw” only after my surgery.
I say this because my vision has never been as good as it is now. My power has come down to -1 from -12 in one eye and -15 in the other. I can now see clearly without any visual aids. It is only in very poor light, if at all, that I need to put on my glasses. And all this I attribute wholly to the fact that the lady who walked into the operation theatre was a very different person from the lady who’d been groping her way through life before she went in for therapy. It was a new me who walked out from the operation theatre!
Just as it is a new me who drives a car with considerable ease today. I had undertaken driving lessons on two occasions many years earlier. Once the lessons were done, however, my driving was also done. I never ever sat behind the wheel again. Why would I? I did not have control over my life, did not have a sense of direction and instead was letting all my debilitating beliefs rule my life. But now, I do know better. I know what it is that I want from myself. I have a far greater sense of control and power over myself. Sure, I will make my mistakes. I am human after all. But I do know that I will learn from my mistakes and only move forward. Naturally, this time after I finished with my formal driving lessons, I continued to drive and even enjoy the experience.
I did start by saying that I did not know where to begin. Having started however, I am loathe to stop. There’s still a lot more for me to say about the process of therapy and what it has done for me. But no matter how much I speak and what I may say, you will have to undergo the process to be able to fully appreciate what it can do for you. It is not as if counseling has to be resorted to only in an attempt to deal with debilitating physical or emotional traumas. The process in fact equips you with the life skills that will enable you to function from a higher level even when dealing with simple everyday situations and issues.