I was sitting in a session with a therapist named Paul on a well-used couch in the trendy Mission District of San Francisco, staring at the antique toy fire trucks placed along his windowsill and balancing a glass of water in my lap. A friend had suggested that…just maybe…therapy would be a helpful thing for me to do. I was out of work and ending a relationship, and although I trusted that things were going to turn out okay, I was a bit at sea.
Paul listened to a synopsis of my entire life, including a short foray into my Ohio childhood, my marriage at 18 and divorce at 21, and a quick trip through 20 years in Germany, Japan, Canada, and England culminating in the Sausalito, California, café where I thought I was going out for a coffee and ended up getting fired. Then Paul studied me through his tortoise shell-framed glasses and asked, “Do you want to look at your blind spot, or do you want to let these patterns repeat?”
That was it—that was the question that changed everything for me. I spoke from the depths of my being, and with trepidation and an unsuppressed laugh, when…