My Therapist keeps talking about homework. He said not to think of it as homework, but as a journey of discovery and fulfillment.
His assignment for me is to answer the following questions:
- What are your marriage deal breakers?
- What are your needs that must be fulfilled in order to stay in your marriage? This includes emotional and physical needs and needs around intimacy.
- What are your dreams?
He explained in a somewhat parabolic way that I shall no longer go through the motions of life. I either live and feel alive and have my needs fulfilled or therapy will be rendered useless. I must pull up my socks and get serious.
But that’s okay, because motivational posters and self-help books haven’t jolted me out of the middle world of numbness and to do lists.
What’s hard is trying to shed the feeling that writing down my needs seems rather selfish. After all, everywhere I turn people are talking about how to give to others. Give, give, give and then your life will be filled up with how you helped to bring others joy.
The cold truth around receiving joy from giving of myself, is that until I give that same liberty to myself and have my own needs met, helping others will just be an accumulation of temporary good feelings instead of what it should be – real joy. Yes, I know this at the core, but connecting that reality to a broken heart and feelings of self-doubt is another story.
Somewhere in the midst of having a family, work, supporting my husband’s goals, and trying to keep the house clean, my needs got boxed up and put in the attic.
My friend sent me a blank notebook. Eerily it arrived today. So I have no excuse to not do my homework. I will begin today to write down my needs and my dreams and to discover what it takes for me to live a life that’s not stuck on auto-play.