Clients who come to therapy often ask me, (and I've even asked this myself at times in my own therapy), what is the point of raking up the past - isn't it better to just leave it where it is, untouched where the dust is settled? You might think, talking is good but I don't want to bring up nasty things, reliving memories, really what is the point?
A person shared recently a lovely analogy that answers that question, which I'd also like to share here...
Imagine you have a chest of drawers. All the drawers have messy clothes, things hanging out, things stuck, all disordered, you may not even want to look at them.
Therapy is a bit like opening each drawer under special conditions (non-judgement, confidentiality, empathy,care, compassion) and in a safe and unbiased space.
Each drawer is handled, discussed, cried or laughed over, secrets out, unravelled, untangled and then put back in a way that feels right. Things that were hidden away in those drawers that have now been aired, met, listened to means that over time there is no longer an avoidance of looking at the drawers. They don't feel overwhelming any longer.
We cannot change the past, but we can change our relationship with it.
If this analogy speaks to you, you might also like a book called The Soul Bird which has drawers in it!