Unpacking through Life Coaching

One of my special readers – countingducks (I so love that name!) has just written a lovely post – packing – and it got me thinking about his view and how it links with what I am going through.

When Alex left he took nothing with him except his clothes, his camera and his pc.  And I do mean NOTHING ELSE.  He left all his past behind with me, even things he’d had before we were married:  things he’d collected on his travels, photos of his childhood, family photos.  During that first 10 months when he dithered about coming back, came back, left…..  (I could go on but I probably have already!) he refused to take any of his belongings.

Finally we spent 3 days together laughing, crying and hugging and  not clearing our home of his belongings whilst he wandered around looking at things but unable to pack them up – I did a lot of it.  He took some stuff – but I put most of his belongings into the garage over the following weeks.  Another year went by before he finally removed them.  He couldn’t bear to pack up his life with me and leave – albeit he already had.

When I found Stephen (through an internet search) I had no idea what Relationship / Life Coaching involved, what the process would be or how it could help – his website just made me feel that he could and would.

After a few sessions I then persuaded Alex to go (independently from me) as I had hopes that by each having the chance to be ourselves and understand where we had gone astray then we would have a route to go back to how we were when our relationship was new and we gave and met each others’ needs all the time.

I have been ‘unpacked’ through Life Coaching.  I have unpacked all the suitcases which I had locked and hidden away.  Having been unpacked and made to look at the contents and understand them I have been able to address the skeletons lurking in the bottom of each suitcase and deal with them.  Dealing with them has sometimes been a bit unnerving and even sometimes traumatic (as those of you who’ve followed this blog since before Christmas will know) but the result is that now, by understanding me so much better, I – hopefully – won’t have so much unpacking to do when I arrive in a new relationship!

As to Alex?   He unpacked a bit.  Probably the most traumatic bit which dealt with his childhood.  The fact that he felt he wasn’t heard throughout his childhood.  (That’s what he told me).  Then he gave up.  I believe he still has a great deal more unpacking to do.  I strongly believe that if he took courage in both hands and continued then he would have the inner peace he craves. He would be able to stop running (or dithering in his case!).

So my take on Life Coaching is that it enables you to unpack in a safe, controlled, supportive and – most importantly – non-judgmental environment.  The result is very liberating.

And as CountingDucks wrote so eloquently – until you finally unpack all the suitcases you cannot come home.

7 thoughts on “Unpacking through Life Coaching

  1. Hi Caroline,
    Great post! Coming back and catching up has been like coffee with a good friend.
    I really like the analogy of ‘unpacking’ suitcases. It is like we spend out adolescence packing up our suitcases to leave our parents house, only to realize that unpacking is always the hardest part. It is exciting to pack before your journey, but oh so hard to put those things back where they belong upon returning. We spend out adolescence and early adulthood packing up our suitcases and at some point, hopefully for all of us at some point, we realize we never unpacked into our new grown up life and it is about time to deal with all that dirty laundry.
    Thanks for posting, Caroline. Your strength and determination are an inspiration to me and I am sure a lot of your other readers!
    I hope this note finds you well and happy!
    Best,
    xoxo-S.

  2. Gosh there is a lot in this post Caroline and I think you have been really open and honest about your ‘unpacking’ as you call it. I guess we can never really make anyone else go through the same journey even though we believe very strongly it would help them – it kind of goes against the whole ethos of coaching. They have to get there in their own time as it is their journey and ultimately their own luggage too! It is such an interesting metaphor the one about bags and packing and both yours and counting ducks’ posts have made me think and for that I thank you 🙂

    • Yes – as I said in a previous post he has to find his own route and also to want to ‘unpack’ for himself. No-one can do it for him.

      Much as we all wish at times to have our problems solved for us, that can never be the case. We have to go through the process ourselves and reach our own solution. Guidance is invaluable though!

  3. Lovely post! I originally went to counseling because I was viewing the different areas of my life as boxes, and I had been trying desperately to pack things away in the boxes, but the lids wouldn’t stay on and chaos reigned. I have spent the last year and a half unpacking the boxes, sorting, throwing away, and neatly repacking those things I need to keep…the lids aren’t permanently sealed yet, but they actually fit now 🙂

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