Self-care is crucial and necessary. It’s impossible to fully express our positive energies without having anything in the reserve. That is a quick way to burn out – or worse.
We have a duty to take care of ourselves. It’s the only way we can handle what’s ahead.
When you really don’t feel like communicating or feeling a bit numb and still in shock. I know rather than isolating, lashing out, raging, sulking continuously, or allowing my energy to be completely zapped – I need to reach out and express love. In the face of adversity, we have an opportunity to grow. Let’s come together and harness the power we have within to ultimately win. Although we may not know exactly what tomorrow may hold we can be completely present in this moment and create a vision for the future.
Making a list of what you are grateful for is a great way to start the healing process. Have a roof over your head? Have food to nourish your body? Hopefully, that’s the case. What’s your go to uplifting tune? Distracting yourself without disassociating is also helpful.
Healing is a daily endeavor. A daily activity. Like the cocaine addict, the workaholic, the sex addict, even the sugar addict – healing is a daily choice. Yes, a choice. It’s much easier to continue our walk through this life oblivious. Carrying on as we always have is easier. It’s easier to dismiss the pain. It’s much easier to ignore the gnawing, the invisible hole felt deep inside. It’s easier to stay married and get through the years because we are playing the martyr. It’s even easier to remain single & give up on the idea of having the type of love we see on the screens or in public. Holding onto anger, resentments, hostility and continuing to push away our true feelings & emotions becomes easier by the moment. I too have had the feeling of not wanting to let the past come up to the surface in fear that I would not be able to move past it. In my twenties, I was under the impression I healed and dealt with my pain. I was pretty sure I had accomplished the goal of not allowing my past abuse to dictate my present. It wasn’t until I was well into my 30s I realized I had not. Not that I didn’t overcome. Not that I didn’t persevere. Not even that I didn’t process some of the pain I felt. I did do all of that. I was under the impression it was a one and done thing. I would process the pain and then bury it deep into the soil. I wouldn’t think about it, relive it, replay it or bear that pain again. I was so very wrong. This type of pain has a mind of its own and decides on its own when to resurface. For those who have not dealt with the kind of pain I describe or have also “successfully” buried their own pains, it seems like a failure when we are unable to cope or unable to keep the past at bay. When our pain swells up into the present moment and doesn’t allow us to continue playing our roles as well. One of the hardest lessons for me has been to work diligently and daily on me. Instead of looking at healing as a destination or singular life activity I must switch to the healthier lifelong journey camp. It’s not ideal. It’s not even fair. It just is. Forgetting the pain isn’t healthy. There are lessons we can learn in each circumstance. No, not that we created our abuse or decided we weren’t strong enough to prevent it, but that our world is not monolithic. There is ugliness and hostility and rage in our world. There are those who are disadvantaged and those that aren’t. We do make daily decisions with regard to how we choose to walk through our days. I choose to speak up and speak out. I choose to not keep secrets for others any longer.
Many people (ok, maybe 12 people) have asked me how I feel about this 2016 Election Debacle since Political Scientist is listed amongst my various titles. I usually respond that I am embarrassed and that most in the field are aware the average citizen doesn’t fully understand much about the system. I seldom explain myself completely to anyone these days as communicating my beliefs aren’t 5 minute or even 15 minute conversations. After studying the American Presidency and the roots of our republic, I am at a total loss here. One of the most poignant lessons I’ve learned in life, be it economics, politics, love, happiness, is that what goes up, must come down. Everything is cyclical.
I remained in disbelief for at least part of every day since Clinton conceded. How can this work? They know this won’t work. How can they just let it ride? They can’t just let this ride. It doesn’t work this way, does it? I know I’m not the only one who received the lesson that politicians were at least perceived to be upright citizens. They pay their taxes, they don’t abuse their wives, they don’t tell off-color jokes and they definitely, definitely are calm and cool headed. Take “The Great Gatsby” when Jay Gatsby loses his temper during a quarrel with Tom and simultaneously loses Daisy. Although the scene played by Leonardo Dicaprio is totally different than in the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, the lesson still plays out the same. Dignified upright citizens have even tempers and can always remain calm in the face of conflict. In order to be a leader of the people and the leader of the free world, one must be poised, well spoken, intelligent, a superb communicator and well versed in, well, politics.
So I wrestle with the notion that the rules had to change in order for President Barack Hussein Obama to become who he is today. Those same rules then must no longer apply to the current President-Elect. This isn’t fitting into my circular theory construct as easily as I’d like. For decades we’ve taught and learned that The Bully doesn’t win. He doesn’t win when lightning zaps us back in time. He definitely doesn’t win during prime time either. America has been chastised for our happy ending stories in the past. Have we been set up for failure? The Bully is never supposed to win. I’d much rather believe now that things are looking up for a select few in this moment, that things will come crashing down on their heads after all. As I sit back and watch this all play out I remind myself of the suspected hacking by a foreign government, Clinton has over 2 million more votes according The Hill (thehill.com), Make Democracy Matter (makedemocracymatter.org) has a point, and the fact that this just doesn’t really make any sense to me. So, perhaps it is me, the one who studied the American Presidency & politics for years, who doesn’t understand the system.
I think the first time I heard the term I was watching my favorite show (at the time), FX’s Nip Tuck. Spoiler Alert. A transgendered woman, played by, Famke Jensen, was working with one of the doctors’ teens. She ended up being an abusive villain type & I came away with a pretty warped idea of what a life coach actually did.
A definition I found with the help from our great friends at Google
While that seems pretty cut and dry I’ll just start with what I am not: I am not a therapist nor do I provide psychotherapy. I don’t tell people what they “should” be doing or offer advice. We actually work on NOT “shoulding” on ourselves.
Bottom line: my morals, ideas, thoughts, ideals, desires, dreams, goals, or spiritual beliefs are irrelevant. Coaching is about the client’s desires and creating a new reality based on what you want.
Do you remember your bookish little cousin Sean? What about unfunny Uncle Harold? Sort of? Not really? You can pick them out of a line-up but maybe you are more like acquaintances.
The people that know you the longest generally have a preconceived notion of who you are. They remember the you that they last interacted with. Not specifically the last time you saw each other at your frat’s wedding but the you from way back when, when you still wore the original Guess jeans, circa 1993. You’ve tried to catch up a little and it spawned a new Facebook reconnection of kiddie pics, recipes, and occasional political discourse.
You’re working hard and creating your brand. The new campaign you just created is LIT and you decide to try it out with friends and family first. You post. You wait the obligatory 3.5 seconds and check. No activity. You make a cup of Plantation Mint Tea and come back to check. Nothing. You refresh your feed and check again. Still nothing. You create a cute album of the campaign and text it to your peeps, including Sean and Harold. Crickets. Every audible notification coming from your Android only highlights the truth — no one likes it.
A lot of times when we don’t get a response from our friends & family or when our posts/tweets/blog sits un-liked by a single soul we tend think we’re a failure. You’re not. This isn’t even malicious inaction by your loved ones.
When we believe we have changed, shifted, grown, whatever label you want to put on it, those people in our lives will always remember you — the old you. They remember the Guess jeans wearing version of you. They don’t really know you, you. Not the edified 21st century you with your shiny new title. They don’t know how much research you’ve conducted or even the debt you racked up expanding your brain. How could they?
Back to cousin Sean and uncle Harold. You probably remember them but maybe you don’t really know them anymore either. Do you remember way back when; when you were an especially lovable teenager [read sarcasm]? Was that the last time you saw dear uncle Harvey, uh Harold? It has been at least a decade (or three). So the picture you have in your mind of Sean or the nerdy way he laughs or maybe even the strong odorous cologne you remember of uncle Harold’s helps trigger a memory for you. It is an old memory. Again, from at least a decade ago (or three). If cousin Sean starts a spectacular new charity for former state wards or uncle Harold all of a sudden became an expert in your field you would probably know much more about them. On the other hand, research and awkward family phone calls would be in your future. Suffice it to say, your level of motivation, or lack thereof, is closely related to whether you know about their present or just have that decades old Polaroid in the mental Rolodex.
Cut your loved ones some slack. Although they are motivated through love and friendship it may not mean that they have the time or ability to figure you or your solo entrepreneurship out.
I know. You have explained it over and over and over. They don’t get it. They maybe won’t get it. Give it some time. Continue to share who you are. Actions do speak louder than words.
Don’t take my word for it though. Watch it play out in your own life. Let me know how it goes. Maybe give them a call and ask whether they still like Isaac Asimov or Drakkar Noir.