As a therapist who works with couples and families in conflict, I understand the necessity of finding common ground. Sometimes, it’s hard to find. I once worked with a couple so polarized that the only thing they could initially find in common was the love they shared for the family dog. It was a great start! 

When emotions fly high, and disagreements and misunderstanding abound, it seems as though there is no common ground. And without that, how can two or more polarized parties hope to find and use common sense? 

This seems all too relevant today, when facts are twisted, or worse, ignored, in an effort to defend opinions and beliefs that are “right”. I’ve heard the question before, “would you rather be right or happy?”. I, for one, prefer both (oh, come on now, you do, too) but in the interest of my own mental health, I’ve learned the importance of compromise, listening, and letting go. The rewards of this shift in mentality, from a win/lose to a both/and perspective has never been more necessary than at this moment in time.

We are at a turning point, in so many ways. There is so much uncertainty, so much negativity and the rhetoric is endless on both sides. 

What can we agree on? How do we move toward the “we” in “we the people?” I so often wish we could have national therapy, or a moderator to help heal our country. Alas, it cannot be. So I suppose the very best I can do is to seek common ground in my own little corner of the world, and use the skills I have worked hard to culminate in my profession to continually improve myself and foster healing in my own corner of the world. Most,  I believe that healed and happy people make better citizens. It’s HURT (misunderstood, invisible) PEOPLE THAT HURT PEOPLE. 

I like my clients to establish goals and write mission statements for themselves and their families. It’s important. Therapists can help give words to feelings and emotions often unspoken, sometimes unconscious and buried deep beneath the surface of things. 

That’s where the hurt is, that’s where the healing is, that’s where the magic happens.

It seems right now we could all use a good cry, a big hug and a lot of tenderness. Within ourselves, and all the ways are hard on ourselves, in our relationships and the stress and strain of so much uncertainty. 

Makes sense, huh?