Watching trapeze artists is fascinating. The performance typically begins with an empty trapeze bar that swings out and smoothly returns to the artist. Tension increases as the artist climbs onto the trapeze bar and swings higher and higher. With each pass, the artist gracefully assumes a new position, either standing, hanging by the knees, or even hanging by one hand until the audience is breathless.
“The biggest challenge is leaping from one trapeze bar to another, ultimately ending up in another place,” said Dr. Beth Plachetka, LCSW, EdD and owner of Safe Harbor Counseling in Sugar Grove. “Letting go in midair before the next bar arrives requires self-awareness and the ultimate faith in oneself or in a trapeze partner.”
According to Dr. Beth, there are many times in life that we stand on our platform knowing that it’s no longer enough to wait for the trapeze bar to swing safely back to us. It’s not enough to try new positions on the same trapeze bar.
“Life requires letting go and trusting that the next trapeze bar will be there while we briefly hang in space,” she explained. “We hang in space while we wait for our first child, when we move across the country for education or a job, when we examine our values and beliefs. A successful, mentally healthy life requires trapeze skills. In anything new, we first learn the rhythm. As our confidence develops, we try new approaches to the same activity, allowing us to stretch and grow.”
Ultimately, we let go. “We trust that we will catch the next trapeze bar, or that someone will catch us,” said Dr. Beth. “We are all called to end up in a different, better place. Risk is involved. We get confused, feel anxious, and can be uncertain.”
When you’re stuck in the same place, reach out to someone you trust: family, friends, or a knowledgeable and supportive therapist.
For more information, please contact:
Beth Plachetka, LCSW, EdD
Safe Harbor Counseling and Dr. Beth Speaks
76 S. Main Street, Suite A
Sugar Grove, IL 60554