Therapy is something that has been essential to my well-being over the last 7 years. I truly cherish the opportunity to have a sounding board for the work I already do with my own self-development...with the evolution of unlocking what I hold on to and the processing of how I have been changed by trauma. Therapy is not meant to 'fix' - nor is any one person...no matter how intimately they are connected to you, meant to or able to provide you with a clear roadmap for your life - only you have the responsibility for and the access to your own healing and development - everyone else is a bystander, a witness, and absolutely impacted by your willingness to Do The Work.
If you thought that the external events of my past year looked intense, wait until you realize the amount of self-realizations I have gone through. I don’t mind saying it’s pretty mind blowing.
Perhaps my largest transformation - which, like most life-altering transformations, happened without my realizing it - has been the shift in how I view myself in the story of my life. I think for a long time, I thought I was the main character - the driving force in this novel. I acted like the heroine should act - dressed the part, knew all of my lines - but I have spent a lot of time being the main character of someone else's story. Let’s face it, I’m not seeking to be a character at all - I am the author - the narrator - the crafter of my tale.
This means that while the behaviors of characters, both main and supporting, affect my decisions in the writing of my story - I am not stuck or trapped in a story that is stunting my development. I am the one with the power. I decide which characters stay on as main characters and which ones need to be assigned a smaller role.
I have realized that my decision making process has changed entirely. I now ask, “What does self-care look like in this moment? If I decide to stay up late tonight, and miss out on my self-care time in the morning in order to sleep, is that what I most need over the upcoming few days? Is that going to be best for me?”. No longer am I quick to make the easy or fun decision….or concerned with making a decision to please those around me...I understand that to care for those around me, I MUST never abandon my own care again - and not only not abandon - but I must prioritize my self-care above anything else that takes place.
I call the shots without judgement of the self - without beating myself up about it - approaching it as more practice in loving kindness and tuning in to my needs.
Previously, I would have chosen to do something like stay up late, both because it was fun and because I would have felt guilty to do otherwise - but would have never shifted the expectations I had of myself early the next morning. I would have expected to follow the same routine and would have beat myself up for being tired or less productive. How quickly we make moves to accommodate everyone around us….but ourselves. The first issue was that I had never built daily self care into my schedule….the irony... I know!....Yogi and former studio owner can’t practice what she preaches…..but it’s true. Self-care was the occasional massage, was the nice breakfast out with friends, it was irregular and most often external. The piece I was missing was the daily, non-negotiable space for reflection, movement, creating and serenity.
I have news for you - life changes completely when you make decisions with self-awareness and self-compassion. You see very clearly what is most important and are willing to fight for it - you become the fiercest defender of your work - you more easily see what is meaningful because you don’t allow things to become diluted anymore….diluted by the opinions, expectations and reactions of those around you. Conforming to what you assume is expected, is not love, is not blazing your unique path and is not living; thereby robbing both yourself and all you come in contact with, of the beauty of your true self.