It is said, when you point a finger at someone, you have three pointing back at you! In other words, what you don’t like in that person, you probably have three fold in yourself. That is a hard pill to swallow, but if you look at it honestly, you will realize it is true. This brings back to mind a client I had years ago. She attended a week long program I was presenting and asked at the end of it, if I would see her as a private client. Her daughter told me that she would only come to two or three sessions because she had been to several therapists before and that was her pattern. In her first session, she stated that she hated her mother because she was so negative. So at the end of her session I asked her to journal every day and to bring it with her the next time. At her third session, I had her read it out loud to me. While she was reading it, she dropped it in her lap and exclaimed,”Oh my God, everything I’ve written is negative, I’ve turned out just like her!” I know if I had suggested she was negative, she would not have come back, but this way she became aware of it herself. I have said many times that AWARENESS is the first step to the three A’s of any kind of recovery, the second is ACCEPTANCE that we have this problem and the third is ACTION to change it. She worked very hard in therapy, made a lot of progress and changed many things in her life in the next two years.
Therapists do not “fix” clients. We can only guide, but the client is the one who has to be willing to look at their situation with honesty and to do the work. I have been blessed with so many wonderful clients who have become aware that their life could be so much better and have taken the steps to change.
So, the next time you find yourself being critical of someone else or pointing out a fault they have, please take an inventory of yourself. Be honest and see if it applies to you. If you find it does, accept it and take action to change it. You’ll be happier and the people around you will too. My greatest wish would be that we could all look beyond appearances and see each other through God’s eyes!
Toni True-Wills, Ph.D.