Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 – firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog is intended to give you a flavour of how I work as a counsellor. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links above.
Suppose I asked you to draw up a list of the people who are important to you, and to rank them, putting the most important people at the top, and the less important at the bottom. There are various ways you might make your decision on the ranking – one way you might think about this is to ask yourself who you would rescue from a burning building – suppose that all the people on your list were trapped inside – who would you pull out first? Or you might think about who you give most time and attention to, or who you would miss most if they weren’t around.
You might also add other things to your list. Work, for instance, might feature, or hobbies, or study. You can’t exactly rescue a round of golf from a burning building but it may be something that is important to you – more important than some (or all!) the people in your life.
If you have a trusted friend, relative or partner, it can be interesting to ask them to write down their ideas of your priority list – who or what do they think are most important to you? In comparing their list with yours, there are likely to be differences, and these differences are interesting; one reason for them is that we don’t necessarily show outwardly what we feel inwardly. What I mean by this is that we may feel that our kids are the most important people in our life, but we may not show that to others. We may feel deeply attached to our kids without giving them a lot of time, or physical affection, or the other things that are noticeable to others.
In itself, the exercise of drawing up a list is thought provoking; and comparing it to someone else’s list even more so. The next step is to put yourself on the list. How important are you? Are there people you would help before you help yourself? Are you top of the list? Are you at the bottom? Do you feel, as one of my clients recently suggested, that you don’t deserve to be on the list at all? And what’s the opinion of your trusted friend on this?
So, you have your list. It’s not cast in stone, of course; it will change over time, but it is also something that you can think about changing yourself. Maybe, when you look at it, you think that you are a bit too high on the list. Then you can think about playing with the kids a bit more, ringing your mum more often, giving your partner more hugs, spending less time at the gym. Or maybe you’re right down at the bottom of the list, or not on it at all. Then maybe you should allow yourself to sit down and read once in a while, or go for a walk on a sunny day, or go away for a weekend occasionally.
The key thing is to find the right balance – for yourself, and for those who are most important to you.