I worked with a client who had a stand in a corner of her bedroom. There were some items on it. One was a silhouette of a man and woman holding hands. There was also a red porcelain heart. There were a couple of photos of couples being happy. There was a flower too. It was dried out.
I asked her what the items were about. She said it was an altar that was supposed to attract a partner. I asked her if she had a partner. She said no, not yet. I asked how long she had the altar up and running. She said a little over two years. I asked if she would be okay about taking it down since it didn't seem to be working. She said she didn't want to because she read in a feng shui book that this area was the relationship part of the room and it had to have something that symbolized positive things about a relationship so she could bring one into her life.
I said, "Do you like this altar?"
I could see a puzzled look on her face. It felt like turmoil. When she was talking with me before I asked, she seemed distant. She was telling me what the altar was about in an intellectual way. It's how people talk about something they heard from someone else that they don't necessarily believe themselves.
Then she looked sad. She said, "No."
I said, "Having these up is a reminder to you that you are alone. Being alone is okay. But when you see photos of people being happy together, you suggest to yourself that you need someone else in your life to be happy. Maybe that's why you have a dried up single flower because you are feeling lack. Maybe one day you'll have a partner. But since you are single now, let's think of ways that you can be happy now. "
She said, "I'd like to take down the altar. That would make me happy."
We took down the altar. Then she told me how she always wanted to visit France. She showed me a bunch of fliers about France. She said, "I used to think that I could only go when I'm with my partner, but I don't have to wait. I can go now." She was beaming.