How I Inspired My Therapist

I had been going to therapy for about a six weeks. It was the week before Christmas and we were talking about the same thing we had been talking about every week since I started; my regret and guilt that faced me every morning since I broke up with my ex-boyfriend, a man that I still felt I was in love with. A man that I convinced myself daily that I would be with again, one day.
As we sat there we talked about all the uncertainty that I was facing. I didn’t know if he was still with the girl he said he was with. I didn’t know if he still had any feelings for me. I didn’t know if he read a single email I had sent him. I didn’t know if he had any capacity to forgive me for leaving to do my personal soul-searching journey that I needed so desperately. She then said to me the exact same phrase my friend had said to me only minutes earlier on the phone: “why don’t you call him”?
The words felt like a lightning bolt strike from the universe, a sign from a higher power, but mixed with anxiety, fear and excitement. My brain quickly tried to process all these emotions, and my therapist seeing the stunned look on my face could detect it. She asked me what I was thinking and then asked about all the possibilities of the outcome. What could be all the positive and negative results if I was to contact him? I started to answer her and then stopped myself. This was the reason I was in this situation to begin with. I overthought all the outcomes. I would think about every possible best and worst case scenario, likely or not, and then typically come to decisions based on the worst of the worst.
As I sat there I decided I didn’t need to think, I needed to act. I needed to know. She asked me if I wanted to call him right there. I said I wanted to do better, he deserved better, I was going to his place (I didn’t even know if he lived there anymore). I wanted to put my heart on the line. I had nothing to lose.
I left halfway through the session and drove directly to his place while my palms started to sweat on the steering wheel. I could feel my heart racing inside my chest. I was prepared for nothing and at the same time prepared for anything. By not over thinking the process I was fearless. I was standing on the edge of a cliff ready to jump into a pool of water knowing that no matter what it was going to be okay. I would know one way or another, and that would be it. Maybe in that moment I could finally move forward, either with him or without him.
I pulled up to his condo. There was no vehicle parked in his spot. There was nothing on the balcony.
The windows were dark and it didn’t look like anyone was living there. I then parked outside his place and called his number, a number despite having deleted from my phone to prevent me from “accidentally” calling it one day was permanently burned into my brain. An odd thing in a world where I don’t even know my own phone number. The number didn’t even ring. It went directly to voicemail. I breathed deeply hearing the sound of his voice for the first time in over 5 months. I left him a message, holding back the tears, and asked him to call me back. Then I drove home feeling an odd sense of accomplishment.
The following week my therapist were back in her office. She asked me what happened after I left her office. I gave her the play-by-play, trying not to cry since I hadn’t received any response from him. My feelings of uncertainty were in no way better. She then told me she was proud of me. She said she doesn’t think she would have had as much courage as I did that day. “You put yourself completely out there, Kim. You didn’t know if he was going to accept you or reject you, or in the case you’re in now, never hear from him again. All you knew was that you needed to do this, and do it you did”.
I smiled. She was right. Maybe the lesson wasn’t that I tried to grasp something I was never going to have again. Maybe what I really learned was that I was willing to be completely vulnerable and I was somehow going to be okay. I thanked her for saying that.
When it comes down to it, the result of what I would have achieved that day is meaningless. I learned that I am capable of doing really bold things for what I want and for the people I love. I love myself even more for taking such a huge leap of faith. In the end I believe the universe both pushed me to make that move and prevented me from connecting with him. I am confident the next time I decide to jump off that cliff into the pool of water there will be someone at the bottom cheering me on and bringing me back to shore to share my entire life with him.

Kim Orlesky is an Executive Life Coach inspiring daily joy. She is a world traveller, author, one-time marathoner, adventurer, poor golfer, inconsistent yogi and puppy parent to her Weimaraner.

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