Sometimes I get discouraged.  Can we really change our thoughts, attitudes and actions?  This business of changing, growing, being the best we can be is hard work!  I can’t sit in autopilot, just operating the way I always have and expect myself to be healthier.  I know this is true when it comes to physical health.  I have to get up a little earlier to fit in a walk before I head out the door, which means I have to think about it the night before when I set my alarm.  I actually need to get up when the alarm goes off.  I have to tell myself, “Karen, if you don’t get up you are not going to have time to walk.  If you don’t walk, your muscles will begin to atrophy (which they do a lot faster at 47 than they did when I was 30).  Your back and neck are going to hurt.  Your clothes will get tight. OK, OK I’m getting up.”  It’s all very intentional.

So it is with my mind and emotions.  My last post on grabbing the steering wheel of your emotions has come around and slapped me in the face.  I have had to say to myself several times in the last week, “You are responsible for how you feel, you are responsible for how you feel, you are…” to keep me from giving in to my automatic responses.  I want to lash out at others.  I want them to change, not me.  I want this to be easier!!!  But, it’s not.  My job is to put one foot in front of the other.  To take one moment at a time, to breathe, to sort things out – Why am I feeling what I’m feeling?  Where do I have control?  What is mine to own in this situation?  I also benefit by pausing and looking back over the course of my life.  What is different since I have been on my growth path?  Oh yes, I’m willing to take more risks.  I don’t live in safe mediocrity.  I don’t beat myself up as often as I once did.  I am softer.  I like the changes, which means…all this work is worth it!

I have also learned none of us can do this on our own.  I have worked with my own therapists and coaches, I have been in a recovery group and I have friends who are linking arms with me as we continue on the path of healing and growth.  I encourage you to seek out the help you might need as you journey toward healing.  You may need to find a counselor/therapist, a coach or recovery group to help you in your quest.  Supportive friends you can trust are mandatory if you want to see true lasting change.

We can heal, we can grow, we can change.  It takes being intentional, staying with it, and supportive people.

Categories: Boundaries, Depression, Relationships, Self-Help | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Discouraged?

  1. bombladoze

    can we? i hope so!!!

  2. Karen,
    I was writing out a response in the little box provided underneath your post and for some reason it got lost. So I am going to do the best I can to re-create it.
    As important as it is to give constructive critiquing to others, it is more important in my view, to give support, confirmation, and validation to others when they have shown what to me is the most valuable asset that we can have, the courage to be vulnerable.
    Your courage in the post you wrote above, and the comment you made to my comment on your last post to me display the characteristic of being vulnerable which shows me true humility.
    I believe when we show humility we do something that can only come about because of our courage, we expose ourselves to others in ways that are uncomfortable for us, we become teachable.
    What you said last time proved to me what I intuitively had thought before; that you are a “wounded healer.” There is no higher compliment I can pay to someone who is in the helping professions.
    If you’re not a wounded healer then you are a rational based support person.
    I had a wonderful uncle of my ex-wife who got his PhD in psychology from UC Berkeley. But I wouldn’t send anyone to him to get help for emotional problems. Why, because he had answers for everything rather than empathy.
    It is only when someone looks at us and truly, honestly and from their heart says, “I hear you,” does real healing begin to take place.
    You have my utmost respect and admiration.

    • Jim, Thank you for your kindness. I truly believe vulnerability is the path toward connection and I think you and I just displayed that. I am also thankful for the reminder to be compassionate and empathic with my clients. Unfortunately, it’s easy for me to disconnect from the pain people are going through. Disconnect was one of my favorite defenses. I think that will be the subject of my next blog. Thank you for the idea!

  3. kkennard

    Reblogged this on kenkennardblog.

  4. kkennard

    I agree with everything Jim has said. Another great post. Thank you, i have reblogged it. From my own experience I’ve learned that every day brings fresh challenges, which I interpret as opportunities to change and grow.

  5. Love this post and love Jim’s response. Deep down I just want everyone else to change. It would make life so much easier. But I cannot control others, so must work on myself and *hope* that their response to me is more in line with what I desire.

    As to Jim’s response. I totally get that. My hubby is naturally an inflexible person. If you don’t feel the same way as him, or like the things he likes – then you must be wrong (at least to some degree). I never felt I could work with him to change our relationship. But things have changed dramatically. He went through some tough times. PTSD, mid-life crisis, affairs, depression – call it what you will. But it has opened his eyes and has allowed him to be much more empathetic. I stayed with him because I sensed that he could be the emotionally intelligent person I was hoping for. He has so much more understanding because of his traumatic experiences and is applying it to our relationship and his relationship with our kids.

  6. Wow, a lucky lady you are Leanie!! Congratulations!

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