I was preparing to see my first client of the day when a previous client came to mind. It was early on in therapy that I shared with her that “I appreciate you.” She paused for a moment and then politely asked if she could ask a question without me getting offended. After assurance, she asked, “Who talks like that?”
The sessions continued as well as my appreciation for the relationship and efforts of the client. Months later, as we decided that it was a good time for her to terminate therapy, tearfully she stated, “I appreciate you.”
These are the experiences that fill life with color, and it could not have been experienced in isolation. Rather, it took a dance of honesty swaying with the rhythms of engagement, risk, and vulnerability. But, this does not have to happen just in therapy. This can happen with a single encounter in the most unstructured of settings by allowing one’s self to see others through a different lens, a lens that shows the value of a fellow being simply for being. Fellow beings are not to be labeled with price tags of value based off of preconceived judgments of what is deemed worthy and what is not.
How often have the gifts of encountering someone been missed in your life because of the judgments cast in feeble, unconscious attempts to rise above the underlying insecurities that are being triggered?