A Lesson from Therapy: Assuming the Best

I know she meant to do that, it was totally intentional ... I said to my therapist this week. ⁣

I’ll entertain that possibility, he said. But, you must also entertain, with the same amount of probability, that it was not intentional. ⁣

I sat with that. ⁣

See sometimes assuming the worst feels safer. Because anger is so familiar. ⁣

It’s like stepping into well known and well worn pathway, or like pulling your favourite hoodie over your head on a rainy gloomy Sunday morning and becoming completely consumed by it. It’s easy to get lost in anger and allow it to grab the wheel and take control. Anger gives us a weird sense of justice. ⁣

My therapist let me take it all in and then he asked the question which made me GET IT: ⁣

Which one FEELS better FOR YOU to believe? ⁣

I sat with that too. ⁣

When I assumed the action was intentional, I felt my heart quicken, my hands began to shake, a viseral reaction rose up within me and I needed to DO SOMETHING, I needed to make it fair, to defend myself. I was PISSED. ⁣

When choosing to believe with the same conviction that the action was NOT the intentional; I felt my heart slow and my hands shook less. I stopped obsessing over the outcome and I made better decisions about how to deal with the situation. ⁣

Our emotions serve a purpose, to protect and alert us to situations that need our attention. But you have to fact check that emotion and the story you’re telling yourself; Is the threat real, or perceived?⁣
Be ready to challenge yourself and this reaction: ⁣

- What are the facts in this story, what are my assumptions? ⁣
- Would acting on this emotion be effective in the long run? ⁣⁣
- Am I accomplishing anything by holding onto this negative thought, or am I only hurting myself? ⁣

At the end of the day, by changing the story I was telling myself, I stopped giving this person and situation so much power over me. ⁣

When I chose to believe that the best was possible, I felt a shift in me. And it felt GOOD. ⁣

I want you to think about the stories you tell yourself. What are choosing to believe? Can you shift those beliefs or flip the narrative of the story? Not for others, but for YOU.