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.”
As I look back on my 20-year marriage, I have continued to hunt for what makes healthy relationships work. I have to wonder how we made it through all the twists, turns, and trauma. In the beginning, we argued about finances, career choices, parenting issues, household chores, infertility, and sex.
Almost as soon as our conflicts began, we went to a marriage counselor. Immediately, we started communicating better. We spent more time together just talking, listened more to each other, and we informed each other when we needed some time to ourselves. As a result, we are now more able to adapt to each other’s needs. Now, each of us feels more respected and loved.
Having lived through tough times with my parents, on my own, and in my own marriage, I can relate well to individuals and couples experiencing difficulties. I have built a stockpile of strategies that individuals and couples can use to increase the trust and love for themselves and in their relationships.
One of these is a lesson learned over the years I spent getting educated in psychology. That is: Individuals have basic needs that simply cannot be met by only one other person. The brain, the heart, the soul, and the mind, are just too complicated and individuals are too different.
But the basic needs for all of us are essentially the same: good food, deep sleep, intimate sex, safe shelter, companionship, love, and happiness within ourselves. In happy lives and caring relationships, people have learned to respect and balance these needs.
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. 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.
If your life is out of balance, and you just want to be happy, call 778-484-5525 for an appointment now.