At the beginning of this year, I sat with a client as he marked two years of consistent counseling.
As he remembered the beginning of this journey, he described realizing early on that there was a closed door inside his heart.
What if there are some things in me I need to deal with?
And the further he’s opened the door, the more questions and life he’s found.
It’s a common question, isn’t it? It’s the question underneath every New Year’s resolution and behind the most mundane decisions. It gets asked in different ways and on several levels many times, every day: What if I wear a blue shirt rather than a green one? What if I take this street versus that one on my commute? What if I eat salad instead of a burger for lunch? And on and on.
I have found in my therapeutic work, both personally and professionally, that the journey to greater growth, healing, and wholeness is no different.
It remains hidden in the recesses of our hearts until just the right time. Perhaps something unforeseen comes our way in the form of great joy or great pain, and the haze lifts for a moment. Then the words come, unconsciously at first and without invitation – What if?
It’s a powerful question. This question holds the power to open doors that we may not even know are there. Not only can this question open those doors, it can also propel us to walk through them.
…I asked for help rather than having that extra drink?
…my spouse is not my biggest problem?
…I took that risk I’ve been avoiding?
…I don’t have to live this way?
What if in 2018, you dare to ask the question on the tip of your tongue and start the quest to discover some answers? What if this year you were to risk telling the truth about yourself, your life, and what you really want?
As I continue to walk with clients through their questions, I have found that most of us need trusted guides to help us along. This is certainly true in my own life. We need others to help us hold the lantern of our questions and find the courage to follow the light we find. What if you stepped into this new terrain in the presence of another who will consistently be with you, cheer you on, and help you move toward whatever is next?
And what if in the process you find yourself changed?
Nick McCollum is a therapist at Sage Hill in Nashville. Nick uses a dynamic approach to help his clients recover their hearts and redeem their stories. He works with both individuals and couples to help them come to bless the space between where they are and where they want to be.