I can relate to people who have experienced loss and trauma because I have been injured, too. There were times I found it hard to look after myself. I got depressed, experienced anxiety, and explored drugs. Thankfully, family, friends, colleagues, and therapists have supported me and opened my mind to new ways of looking at life.
I have been through traumas and loss in my relationships, too. Relationships fizzed and that hurt because I had allowed myself to love. But I eventually got over the hurt enough to move on with my life.
Three things have been critical in repairing the damage: staying open to whatever life brings, noticing the need for commitment, and learning to value myself. Not valuing myself above all else, but valuing myself enough to allow me to be imperfect, to do my best with what I’ve got, and to feel okay about being me.
As a wise friend said, “I have enough. I do enough. I am enough.”
Having lived through tough times on my own, with my parents, and in relationships, I can relate well to people experiencing difficulties. I combine a compassionate approach with strategies that you can use to increase the trust and love for yourself and in your relationships.
One of these strategies is a lesson learned over the years I spent getting educated in psychology. That is: Individuals have more needs than can be met by only one person. The brain, the heart, the soul, and the mind, are just too complicated and individuals are too different.
Each of us needs help. That can be hard to admit because we've been trained that independence and stuffing our emotions are healthy. So, it's difficult to admit we can't cope and need help to get through those hard times.
But the basic needs for all of us are essentially the same: good food, deep sleep, intimacy, safe shelter, companionship, love, and contentment within ourselves. In happy lives and caring relationships, people have learned to respect and balance these needs.
However, don't let yourself be deluded into believing that you can be happy or contented all the time. I can't count the number of times I've heard clients say, "I just want to be happy. That isn't too much to ask, is it?" I get people yearn to be happy and struggle with those unpleasant emotions of sadness, frustration, anger, and fear. It's important to realize there is a purpose to every one of those emotions. They belong and they are protective. They help us survive.
Yet again, balance is key. Too much negative emotional intensity can serious physical responses. They are stressful. So, when we realize we are talking negatively to ourselves or others frequently or ALL THE TIME, it's important to recognize that the stress is getting to us and we probably need help. You might not need a therapist, but you could probably benefit from talking to a trusted friend or family member. If they can't help you, it's probably going to help if you reach out to a professional.
While teaching in a community of First Nations people, thankfully, I learned about the trauma of cultural alienation, the cycle of abuse, and the healing medicine wheel. I am also grateful and respectful to indigenous communities for holding to traditions which value plant medicines. Along with other tools, it’s helpful to remember the lesson of the medicine wheel is a healthy balance of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs - the essence of which is finding harmony with our own nature, our own unique being.
Seeking a natural harmony among these needs is the key process I emphasize with my clients and myself. It can take a lot of effort and courage to better understand the challenges we have faced and survived. It means facing these challenges and opening up to setting and intention for your life. Once we understand what prevents us from digging deep, we can face that part of ourselves, befriend it, and integrate the power of the lessons we have learned into a more balanced and harmonious life.
If your life is out of balance, call (855) 782-6583 for an appointment now.