Friday, January 10, 2014
The Talking Cure
I recently learned what Freud terms "The Talking Cure." In essence, we can solve our own problems by talking things out. So, having a listening ear is sometimes the best remedy, even when that listener doesn't say a word or give one smidgen of advice.
Here at BYU I am a Freshman Mentoring Peer Mentor--the fancy word for an upper-classman friend for incoming students. My supervisor is the one who told me about the "talking cure." We meet with incoming students and are a resource for them to help them succeed their first year. This past week I've met with about a dozen new freshman who, just like me, came to BYU last week. But unlike for them, it's a review for me and not a revelation.
Sometimes, as they talk things out, they come to their own conclusions. And others ask me for advice with things like feeling socially incompetent, managing a busy schedule, etc. Really, their concerns are exactly my concerns. And as I try to help them, I help myself.
God knows the talking cure works. So he has blessed me with the opportunity to tell people what I actually need to remember.
He's let me do this a couple times this week, outside of working with freshmen.
On the indoor track yesterday, I was dying. I wanted to run 3 miles but mile three hit and I was thinking of lowering my original goal and calling it a day. Then, out of the blue, a young man starts running just behind me in the lane next to me. I see the army coach tell him, "7 more laps. You're at 7:15." The boy next to me was slowing down. He was gasping. Understanding his pain I said, "You're doing great! You can do it!" He said, "I have to run 2 miles in 13 minutes to get 100." We started chatting. He said, "I'm using you as a running buddy, I hope you don't mind." Don't mind? I am the one who needed a running buddy to push me.
He had one lap to go and the coach yelled at him "11:16."
Me: You can get it in 13 flat!
Boy: No, I'm dying!
Me: a whole lap of all the motivational things I could think of....."There's plenty of time to feel good after this....you can run faster than you think!....You can do it!" all things that I needed to hear)
He sprints to the finish line, then collapses.
Me: Way to go! What's your name?
Boy: Jordan. Thanks so much, I got 13 flat. :)
AND THEN, I was chatting on facebook with a girl in Paraguay. She's worried about the future and doesn't know how she's going to make some of the upcoming decisions she has to make.
I tell her, "Work instead of worry, faith instead of fear." I tell her all the things that have helped me in times like that. In times like this, actually.
And I don't know who benefited more from that---her or me.
I just had to talk things out. I already know how I should think, what I should do. Most of the time. I know what's true.
I just forget.
But God reminded me.
He placed listening ears in my path, disguised as people who need help. I'm so thankful that the same ultimate Psychiatrist, Counselor, and Adviser is also my personal loving Heavenly Father. Which reminds me of one of my favorite songs by Cherie Call (the pictures don't really match up with the words, but the words are great!).