Their happiness is not your happiness. My wonderful friend, Beth, spoke these words to me until I believed them. In our lows though, it can still be hard for our hearts to believe them.Read More
It’s been nearly six months since I left New York. I’ve come back once again - this time, to rewrite the story between me and New York. One of the most power lessons I’ve learned this year is rewriting the narrative. This concept doesn’t mean lying to myself about the truth of what happened. It doesn’t mean pretending that trauma and hurt did not occur. It is, rather, the act of framing my part in my own story less as the victim and more as an active participant in my own narrative. Events happen to victims. Protagonists create the action. I am ready to be the protagonist.
Are you ready to engage with the story of this last year and rewrite your narrative? If your 2018 was as deeply traumatic and painful as mine, this is your opportunity to turn all of the incredible hurt into lessons.
Though Monday and this whole week has been hard, I’m incredibly grateful for it. They say that relationships, of any sort, with other people allow us to hold a mirror up to ourselves so that we see who we truly are. The final mirror that was held up to me in this relationship was that I function in a fallacy called “belief in a just world”. What is “belief in a just world? How do we dismantle it?
This is my home. It’s where I go when I don’t know where else to go.
Particularly around the holiday season, I think about what it means to be home, what it means to have a home. I used to have this idea in my heart that I would feel home when I found another person that wanted to make one with me. Then I thought, maybe if I live the place where my heart feels settled, I’ll finally find home. Then I thought, maybe if I found a group of people who believed in the same things I did, I would feel home. That idea got me closer to the truth but it still wasn’t everything I knew home needed to be for me.
There are 30 days left in the year.
30 days left to choose joy over hate.
30 days left to choose forgiveness over spite.
30 days left to choose courage over cowardice.
This year I said would be the year of courage moment. I was courageous. I was brave. I did things I had been too afraid to do for the past few years. My intention to act, think, and feel from a place of courage also means that I must reflect courageously on what has transpired these past 335 days. It’s lead me to one overarching idea: The home I am looking for needs to be me.
Forgiveness, as I learned it was not about freeing the heart of the wronged person; it is about punishing the offender by making them perform an action so as to make them worthy of forgiveness. Part of living inside of shame and guilt based systems, like antiquated systems of control, means this inability to truly forgive. From the psychological perspective, the mindset and the action of forgiveness has much more to do with the healing of the forgiver. Forgiveness is the thing we do to help us move on. It is the thing necessary to release the hurt and pain, the spite, the need for vengeance or to “balance the scales”. While this season is traditionally about giving thanks, expressing gratitude, offering charity, perhaps the action filled with the most kindness, the one we should focus on now more than ever, is the ability to forgive.Read More
In my experience, one of three paths reveals itself during times of heighten stress: action, inaction, or defeat. Inaction, which I think is far more common, is the assessment that all of the elements that contribute to stress are so overwhelming, it is impossible to make a choice in either direction. It’s the freeze. Whether it’s tackling that massive to-do list or it’s one situation in particular that is causing you distress, the freeze happens because dealing with it head-on feels too hard but giving up is not an option. In this case, one technique I’ve been trying recently is the a version of what psychologist call exposure therapy, namely systematic desensitization. What I’ve done for myself is taken these concepts and implemented them in ways that make sense to my life.Read More
Last week we talked about what stress is. This week we start to learn strategies for taking it on and using stress to help us grow instead of allowing it to derail us. Strategy One is probably the kindest way in. It requires the least amount of discomfort. It’s Gratitude. Gratitude is now this big buzz word in the wellness community, which like all things in the wellness boom, has its pros and cons. What does it mean to actually embody a lifestyle of gratitude though? Gratitude also does not mean ignoring that things get challenging or that there are moments, sometimes large spans of time in life, that are truly distressing. This would be simply ignoring the reality of the world we live in. Things get hard. People can be mean. Life circumstances may change and leave you feeling utterly unstable. In our modern lives, gratitude means embracing the stressors and instead of deciding that they are a threat, treating them as challenges from which we can learn and grow.Read More