I was reminded today of a story I heard some years ago. This is a Sufi story of Nasreddin. The story goes something like this…

Nasreddin was searching for something under a street lamp. His friend was passing by and asked him: “What are you doing there?”. “I lost my key and I am searching for it…” Nasreddin replied. “Oh, then let me help you find it”, the friend said and immediately dropped on his knees trying to find the key. 

After a long time had passed and nothing could be found there, Nasreddin’s friend asked in despair: “Well, are you sure you lost your key here?”. “Well, of course, I didn’t lose it here.”, Nasreddin replied. “I lost it just outside my house”. And pointed to his house where it was really dark. “Well then, why are you looking for it here?” the friend asked. “Well, the light is much better here”.

This is a fascinating story for me that reminds me of something about my work and how psychotherapy works. Sometimes, the process of therapy might not be pleasant or fun as we have to visit dark places – but it is where some keys are to be found. You are bound not to find a key in the most obvious place – it is usually hidden from sight… Just like treasures. You have to search for them, even in places where it might not be fun to do so. The rewards are many, but the process can be upsetting, frustrating or… Well, are you game?

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