I pride myself on being open – open-minded, and open-hearted. It’s not easy to live by the principles you tell you clients about: to be completely honest, to show yourself, to be vulnerable, to feel the feelings and learn to accept every part of yourself.
Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle and I just want to run away from the difficult emotions and pretend I’m fine when I’m not.
Sometimes, in the process of being open, in the process of being completely honest and vulnerable, we get hurt. No-one’s fault, just the way it goes. Clients often tell me they can’t be open-hearted because they’ve been hurt so much. They have to close themselves off to protect themselves from people: people who will no doubt hurt them if given the chance.
I wonder what to offer here apart from empathy. It hurts. Sometimes people do things which you don’t understand and that vulnerability you were so proud of bites you in the ass…again.
Here’s what I can offer you – that being the same person, ALL of that person, no matter who you’re with, gives you a freedom that no amount of pain can take away, no circumstance could make you regret and no situation you couldn’t heal from.
Integrity and honesty are the antidotes to being hurt. It is what will allow you to heal. It is what will allow you to feel secure in your choices no matter what, because you were in alignment with your heart, your core, your true self, and no-one, no matter what they do or say, can take that away from you
I said adulting was hard. I want to caveat that. Most of us, at some point, will find being an honest human hard work. It requires strength. That said, there are many moments of fun, carefree adulting that are not hard work. We can choose how we want to perceive and react to our lives. We can choose to see challenges as opportunities and gifts. My darkest times have often lead to my greatest periods of growth. My eating disorder, depression, anxiety and subsequent recovery fueled my passion for counselling and ultimately paved the way for this career. There’s a reason. Maybe we just don’t know it yet