Emotional healing has been taboo in our culture for most of history. I feel like there is an awakening of sorts, a revival happening that is desperately needed to change the course of history. That is mental health work, work I’m no stranger to. Today, I wanted to share 10 lessons I learned from my therapist that I thought might help you too.
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen where we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” – Brene Brown
“I didn’t think I had that many problems,” the phrase that keeps 70% out of therapy and counseling. I was one of them – knowing I had issues but not big enough ones to reach for help. So for years, I just continued living, continued pushing through, and suppressing everything that hurt.
Like most people – I thought if I kept myself busy enough that all of my problems would miraculously disappear, my life would change and I would be out of the woods.
Low and behold – that method didn’t work. The problems would seem to reappear when life would get too stressful, or a trigger opened up the festering wound beneath the skin. Life would rip the band-aid off time and time again re-exposing what I worked so hard to cover up.
Vulnerability seemed like too much.
But I took the leap, I signed up for counseling and it changed the course of history. That’s why I thought I’d share 10 lessons I learned from my therapist in hopes that it will too encourage your own journey of learning – of seeking help and choosing to change for you and for the legacy that you leave.
Inside today’s podcast get all 10 lessons I learned from my therapist.
Five lessons I’ve learned
I’m sharing the full ten lessons I’ve learned from therapy inside the podcast but wanted to drop five here for you. While this is my personal experience, I feel like these are lessons we could all benefit. Take them or leave them, implement them or not – the most important thing we can all do is live more aware.
lesson #1: you can’t fix anyone
I’ve spent most of my adult life masking my emotional problems by trying to fix everyone within reach. It’s why I’m in the career I am, to help fix what appears broken as if in fixing something or someone else it will magically fix me.
But what I know is trying to fix other people only leads to more disappointment than one can bear. I can help, we can help, but we aren’t responsible for fixing – that is the individuals choice. Sometimes the best way to help others is to fix yourself so you can give more away.
lesson #2: no matter where you go, be where you are
Be where you are. We hear it all the time – the act of being present – but how difficult to maintain. Somedays I question how we can be here, fully and always. I think I’ve learned there is no magic secret, it’s a choice, mostly to show up and be in whatever the moment offers.
It’s making a choice not to be distracted by where you wish you were, or who you want to be and instead to fully embrace the moment. Because maybe in the ‘mess,’ in the imbalance is actually where we find the wholeness of life.
lesson #3: add some color
Pinterest has had a way of painting the perfect shade of white over my life. Everywhere I turned, I thought my life needed to look more pristine, more precise, more white. While I love the images I do see – I know it’s not for me. I need color; it’s what my heart longs for.
This challenge isn’t mental but practical – I needed to add more color in my life and question, maybe you do too? Whether it’s a colorful shirt or dress I love but fear I couldn’t pull off, painting a wall in my house or all of them – I went on a mission of adding color. Sometimes it’s the simple things that add the most value.
lesson #4: forgiveness isn’t a feeling – it’s an act
I want to feel good when it comes to forgiveness, and I’ve just never experienced that. That’s why I struggle to forgive – especially myself for things I’ve done, said, or just the way I am. But I’ve learned that forgiveness isn’t something that offers a shiny feeling on the other side. It doesn’t automatically take away the hurt or enable whatever is wrong to be right.
Forgiveness isn’t as much for the other person as it is for you – the greatest act of love we know, and that act isn’t a feeling but a choice. Choose forgiveness without expecting a certain feeling on the other side.
lesson #5: believe change is possible
I get stuck here a lot, thinking this is the end. That no matter how hard I work, I’ll still be here. Call it a pity- party. I suppose that is what it is. But I think we often do this – believing in everyone else’s change but our own.
The reality is, nothing in life is static. While much of it is out of our control – it isn’t right for everything. The greatest of all change happens in our mind, which we know is entirely in our control. Change is possible; don’t let anyone make you believe it isn’t. Trust the process and learn to expect it in a way it has to be true.
we all need therapy
There’s a physical connection between what the mind is thinking and those parts of the brain that control the body. I knew this because I felt this. What I wanted – to suppress my emotions as if they have no measure on my body didn’t exist. Because what I know – is emotions, our past, our feelings affect every area of our health.
To be fully nourished means that we must deal with our emotions.
To create an awareness where we settle into who we are rather than trying to escape or continuously create something new. For me, this only came from getting external help.
We could all benefit from therapy – even if you’re like me and you don’t think your problems – or lack thereof qualify you. It does, anything does, sometimes all our soul needs is someone to talk with.
Take the leap – I promise it’s one you’ll never forget.
Find a counselor or therapist you can trust, I’m not even just talking about a friend. Get professional help, and use your friends to help debrief you. But we need someone to push us, to open us up and make us go to the deep places of healing. Just do it – you won’t ever regret it.
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