I sit in my living room on video meeting a professional therapist for the first time. I am hoping to talk to a neutral person in the psychology field about something that had been on my mind. I am on camera, she is talking to me, and her camera is pointed at a bright green piece of construction paper.
I was going to ask, but I thought I’d try talking that way, maybe I’d feel more comfortable not seeing her at first.
The session continues. She asks questions. I share some answers, feeling fragility rise up in me when her tone is cold and there is a feeling of judgment. I left the session feeling down and more fragile when I had felt well in the morning before it began.
Later on that day, I was feeling pretty well, but still fragile. I walked outside to check the mail. When I got to the boxes, the mailman was placing envelopes in the ones on the opposite side of mine. When he saw me coming, he stepped aside and said hi with a kind smile and cheerful, wrinkly eyes. As I walked away, I thought, I feel lighter and so much better emotionally.
You might be a psychologist with a title after your name, your clients feeling like urine specimens under a microscope, or you might be a postal worker whose name is unknown and without a degree, with wonderful white hair and a cheerful, a wrinkled-eyed smile showing kindness to a stranger who really needed it that day.