Lots of things that we do today happen instantly or nearly instantly. The blog you are now reading, for example, probably loaded up within a matter of seconds no matter where in the world you are situated. If we pay for a product or service over the Internet using a bank card or online payment system, the funds are received by the retailer or service provider in near real time, allowing our order to be dispatched without delay. Rarely do we have to wait for the postal service to deliver our favourite reading material any more, or wait for 7 days for our personal cheque to clear before our order is processed.
We are used to services which are ‘on demand’, not ‘upon request’, and this can alter our expectations of just how quickly something should take to complete, to arrive or to be fulfilled. While this is fine in the world of mobile phones or personal computers, where we can simply upgrade to the latest model if our download speed is not as desired, when it comes to personal change the story is a different matter. From fad diets to get rich quick schemes, the Internet promises shortcuts to success with every other advertisement, yet in reality the odds of us discovering that ‘magic formula’ may be quite slim.
Electrical vs Horticultural
Someone once said that personal change happens not on an electrical time scale, but on a horticultural time scale. When it comes to changing our habits, our outlook, our perspective or our mood, maybe we expect ourselves to respond as quickly as our mobile devices, when really we should look at such goals as personal growth rather than personal change-and-quick-about-it. Commitment to living out new choices, or to practising new coping strategies is important when lasting personality change is what is desired. Like the plant in the garden, nurturing ourselves and giving ourselves what we need is the order of the day. Would you expect a seed to fall out of the packet, hit the soil and turn into a beautiful flower straight away?
In Order To Bloom
People often engage with counselling to figure out exactly what it is they need in order to bloom themselves. Learning about ourselves, how to manage who we are and how to aim in the direction of what we would like to become is all part of the therapeutic process. A relationship built on trust and confidentiality can be an ideal greenhouse providing just what a budding shoot needs to strengthen its roots and reach upwards in a direction of its own choosing.
~ Rob Oglesby MBACP B.A. (Hons) BSc
[Ashwood Therapy provides a discreet, confidential and professional online counselling service by encrypted video call, live instant messaging and secure email. More details, including tips on wellbeing and information on current counselling session pricing, can be found at www.ashwoodtherapy.com]