A previous client of mine, who I haven’t seen in several years, recently knocked on my office door. It took me awhile to recognize who he was but his voice saying “hi Wyatt” is what triggered my memory of him. In hopes that I had a free moment he said he showed up to simply say “hi.” I was indeed free and motioned for him to take a seat. Due to confidentiality and ethical standards that I uphold as a therapist, I cannot share too many details about this client’s identity. The one factor that I will mention about him is that he has several years of being on this planet and the only noteworthy thing about him is his constant soundbite on replay saying, “I’ve never ever been happy.”




When I first met this client (let’s call him Eddie) I was taken back by how sad his life story was. Eddie had no family to speak of, no friends and an underwhelming career. He recited a long list of “unlucky” events that happened to him throughout his life. His health problems were always minor yet he seemed plagued by constant psychosomatic stress involving constant ruminating thoughts telling him he’s not good enough, insomnia and daily lethargy which I suspected to be symptoms of his low-grade yet gnawing depression. This client was never suicidal but had ongoing thoughts that if his life ended he and the world would be better off.


Back when Eddie was my client, I could only see him for a limited amount of session due to his insurance restrictions. During those sessions I sat and listened to him with infrequent interjections on my part, mostly because anything I tried to suggest, point out and/or propose was dismissed with his certainty that he doesn’t deserve to be happy even if he tried. For hours  we would sit together in sessions and he complained and then he left. I was never more frustrated as a therapist than I was with him. Was he a good person? Yes. Was he enjoyable despite his self-deprecation and uncompromising negativity? Somewhat. Was I slightly disappointed that we had to end therapy? Maybe only slightly.


So recently when he walked into my office and sat down I was astounded by his appearance. Something had changed. I asked him how he was and he began recounting how the past six months he had been battling cancer. He spoke of radiation and multiple drugs he had to take, medical appointments, surgeries and an unending amount of physical pain. All the while, as he told me these miserable details, he was smiling. His face was bright, his countenance inviting and the sparkle in his eyes was overwhelming. I sat in awe as he discussed (what to some people would categorize as the worst experience they’ve ever had to go through) the most life changing and inspiring moment of hope and change.


This man, so frail looking and weak, now sat across from me showing a thirst for life that I never imagined possible for him. He attributed it to “having a second chance.” This man believed he was going to die of cancer and yet he was thriving, not in health per say but in emotional resilience. This previously negative, dismissive and bitter man had a new-found vision of how important life is. He looked at me with light in his eyes commenting, “when the doctor told me I beat cancer I had never felt such a rush of happiness in my whole life.”


See everyday as a second chance. See every moment as a gift. Love yourself enough to give yourself permission to be happy.


The world can be seen though many angles. We wake upon the “wrong side of the bed” and perceive the world as a dark rain cloud and in a matter of moments we drink some coffee and then find ourselves feeling more optimistic about what the day will be like.





The striking thing about life that always surprises me is the constant resurgence of being reminded again and again about the value of connecting. There’s a fuel and a driving force that fulfills us more than any experience, and that is an encounter that connects us with someone else.Connection can be a new way to view the world. Connection with others has the possibility of showing us pieces of ourselves that we otherwise might not have found by  isolating.


Connection, the present energy with which we connect, the way we look for connection, the way we honor connection and the reasons we connect are questions that should be pondered constantly. We are provided with daily reminders of how important it is to connect with others. What is the quality of connection that you strive for? How can your connection with others be deepened? The quality of your connections with others will show you volumes about yourself and your place in the world.


The moment we decide to change our perspective from an internal and selfish view of the world to a playground where the possibility of goodness, of satisfaction and of fulfillment can take place, we then see ourselves as part of a solution.