Think about the last time you got upset about something.
Being on hold for 20 minutes?
An annoying co-worker?
Your upset is probably stimulating a memory from long long ago- most likely your childhood.
“Seriously?! Oh, psychobabble!”
For years, I had this deep rage that I could not figure out. No amount of angry music, mosh pits or alcohol could fix it.
Where was it coming from?
When I first remarried, I looked to my husband for help, thinking that’s what I was supposed to do. He gave me the best gift: “I’m sorry, I’m not equipped to help you here.”
And he was right.
Rage is serious and deep.
And it can come out in awkward moments as adults- being terse with a cashier, cutting someone off in traffic, saluting someone with a single finger.
My good friend knew about a place where I would find the answer.
There is a place in Houston called The Clarity Center where I first found a professional who held 50 minutes of time and space for me. She would say “you need to tell me that horrible story about 100 more times.” That was earth-shattering. She WANTED to listen to me? I took a The Basic Class years ago and found a Session Partner.
My Session Partner is not a social friend. We don’t do lunch or hang out.
We “session” and share our deepest hurts and fears because most family and friends are not trained on how to do this. It’s not that they don’t care, they’re just not equipped.
How does it work?
We each get 20 minutes to talk about anything either by phone or in person. We start by sharing “what’s new and good?” so that we don’t wallow. The listener listens and holds space and time for the speaker, nodding and actively listening. The listener can offer holding hands to the speaker for support. Often, the speaker’s hand will get hot from anger, recalling a present upset that stimulates a past upset in childhood when the child had no voice or could not make decisions and felt powerless. At the end of the 20 minutes, the listener offers the speaker an “up and out” to pull the person back into the present and refocus the mind. It can be making a sentence out of a word or describing something in the room.
The listener does not offer advice or wait for their turn to talk or share a similar story of their own, but can say “what does that remind you of?” The speaker can ask for feedback: “Is there a pattern that you hear? What have I missed?”
My session partner is very perceptive and will usually find my blindspots: “I hear a lot of fear about chronic illness and as an adult, you can parent the scared child. You know the answer.”
I learned that being on hold on the phone made me really angry because it reminded me of not feeling important at some time in my past.
The Clarity Process was life-changing for me and still is. The listener holds space and time for the speaker and learns how to listen with intent.
Think about what an incredible gift it is to hold space and time for another human being and just listen, keeping your 2¢ to yourself.
The Clarity Center does have a workbook you may be able to purchase to help you understand the process and patterns.
Contact information here: