“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
― Maya Angelou
I have always loved this quote. I remember hearing it many years ago and it has often crossed my mind in many forms: often it is “Now I know better, so I will do better”.
I went to a Conference for work last week. I often have to go to these – but don’t go often enough. Sometimes you hear the same old stuff, but occasionally something really strikes me and changes the way I do therapy. The best conferences are the ones where I hear something that does not necessarily change my therapeutic approach, but it changes my life approach (hence, my therapeutic approach – since really the two are hard to separate).
One of the speakers was Gabor Mate. I fell in love with one of his books a few months ago that he co-authored, “Hold on to Your Kids” and talked about it here. At the conference, I had the opportunity to listen to two seminars based on two of his other books: “In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts” (about Addiction) and “When the Body Says No” (about the Mind Body Connection). What a truly amazing speaker. Everyone was “wowed”.
After the seminars, I purchased another one of his books (got him to sign it for me:), “The Scattered Mind” – all about ADHD. I haven’t been able to put it down. Having some very high spirited boys in our family, I am fascinated by his theories and strategies; they are filled with kindness and compassion.
In one of his lectures, he talked about the proven strategies that work with many clients who are faced with so many challenges. He told us there were two main ones: Love and Compassion.
His theories have shifted my perspectives about many of the issues I deal with with my clients, but more importantly, how I deal with my family. Love and compassion are the two main strategies that I need to focus on.
This brings me back to the quote of the week.
I love learning. I love learning things that push me to consider the way I do things and help me to do things better. Sometimes I learn or hear things that are completely new to me. Sometimes I hear things I already know, but somehow they strike me differently. Sometimes, I am just reminded of the things I should be focusing on.
And then, when I know better, I can do better.