|Do you wonder what good love is in your life? Particularly when someone has broken your heart? (Are you old enough to remember the Tina Turner song?)
From my perspective, love is EVERYTHING.
I was recently infected with Covid-19 and spent 2.5 weeks being REALLY sick. No, I never had to be hospitalized but, I was sicker than I’d ever been in my life. Those who know me know that I love to eat. Though I didn’t lose my senses of taste and smell, I lost my appetite: both hunger and thirst fled for quite a while.
There were chills, fevers (though not until week 2), overall body aches, headaches, coughing to the point of headache and the feeling that I was like ‘the walking dead.’ No matter how much sleep I got (and I slept almost constantly), I never had any energy.
During this time, my spouse took care of me beautifully. It meant the world to me that he was checking in on me and looking after my wellbeing. My close friends wrote and called, two of them wrote every day that I was sick…. every day! My doctor’s office even put me on a watch list and called me most weekdays.
Then, about 14 days into the illness, a colleague of my spouse’s (and his wife) sent us a ‘care package’ of literally: chicken soup, dinner rolls and cookies. It was the first food I was able to eat in many days. It touched me so deeply that I hand-wrote a thank you note (who writes anything by hand nowadays?!?).
Through all of this, and now with no symptoms and a big old set of antibodies (negative test result available for anyone who needs to see it!), I feel great again. I particularly feel great and grateful for all the people who showed me love when I was ill: my spouse, my friends, my spouse’s colleague, and family members who kept me going.
For the last two work weeks I was cleared to return to work and remember what else love has to do with it: I so enjoy being able to love and care for the people who come to me in my private practice. Yes, I hold the appropriate boundaries but, I will call it love from now on.
As you’ll know from these newsletters (good news, they’ll be reduced to once per month) I’ve struggled for months to “reinvent” myself, having grown bored with my role as therapist, wanting to be a ‘spiritual teacher’ (whatever that means) and seeing the many limitations of being a ‘therapist.’ However, I’ve come to an interesting conclusion about my work: I don’t really need to change a thing.
Though I no longer need the protection of the ‘system’ of licensure and insurance, I have no internal instructions to ‘reinvent myself’ anymore. I no longer care about the distinction between therapist and spiritual teacher: everything is integrated.
I’m perfectly happy loving the clients who come to me whatever name I give my ‘role’ and however I describe my work. “Radiating love and wisdom” for them, so that they can access their own love and wisdom, is what I love to do and what makes me feel most alive. Even in these early weeks of recovery from Covid, the love I feel for the clients is the BEST thing about my work life. Who gets to say that about their work?! I’m a fortunate man.
The simple truth is, as a ‘therapist’ I can define my work the way I want to (as long as it helps clients), take minimal notes as I’ve always wanted to (I found this out on the State Licensure website), and deal with just a small number of insurance companies.
So, to summarize:
There are plenty of opportunities to come and see me. Since I have no plans to run any more groups, I moved to a much cozier office right across the hall from my old office. Come and see me there.
Oh, and you can check out my new therapist profile (and soon a new 75 second video) on Zencare.co if you’re interested: https://zencare.co/provider/therapist/jonathan-labman
Sending lots of love,
Jon (a.k.a. Jonathan Labman, LPC!)