Can you tell me how to get to sleep?

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When I was very young I shared a room and a bed with my sister, who is ten years older than I am. I would often end the night by asking her to tell me how she fell asleep. I don’t mean in general. I actually wanted her to fall asleep and then tell me how she did it each individual time. She never did, but it didn’t stop me from asking.

My thinking was that once she accomplished the task, it would be fresh in her mind and she would outline the steps for me to follow so I too could quickly get to sleep. If you read my recent blog,  you can rest assured that the phrase “dumb little kid” did not originate with my son Andrew

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How many times do you look towards experts for an answer that lies within you? How much time do you spend cultivating and protecting your own wisdom? What risks are you willing to take in order to grow your confidence in your own voice?

Nobody needs to be an expert in everything, or even many things. I certainly never want to do my own taxes or change the oil in my car. There are a number of tasks that make my life manageable which are better left to the hands and brains of someone else. But one responsibility that should always be mine- and yours for your life is what direction do you want to go in? What is best for you?

Are the bulk of your decisions made by someone else? Or For someone else? Do you decide by consensus? How present is your own voice when you are making a decision?

My sister was loving, and I believe she would have tried to answer the question as honestly as she could. But her answer would have been based on how SHE got to sleep—there were no guarantees that her method would have worked for me.

In therapy, my goal is to help people cultivate their own voice. So often people ask me for a decision when we both know, they know, the answer. The difficulty isn’t finding the answer, its finding the confidence to pursue it. Sometimes, it’s finding the strength to stick with it and/or its consequences. But when we do that, when we move forward on our own behalf, we feel truly as if we are living, rather than checking off the boxes of completing a life someone else decides for us. Decisions made from their viewpoint as the driving force, not ours.


5 thoughts on “Can you tell me how to get to sleep?

  1. Todays topic was unique in the way you brought the story full circle. Most of us don’t realize that the rest of the story so to speak is really that we tend to not follow thru more of out of our fear of is this the right decision, rather than just try it. The most that can happen is we may have to try it differently the next time. Sometimes I think we are so trained to believe that someone else knows whats better for us than we do, that we actually believe it.

    On the other hand, maybe your sister wanted to keep it a secret!

  2. The difficulty isn’t finding the answer, its finding the confidence to pursue it. Sometimes, it’s finding the strength to stick with it and/or its consequences. 

    I took this with me all day!

    1. thank you for taking the time to comment! The inspiration for me to keep writing comes purely from knowing that someone is finding it helpful!

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