20/05/2013

The Pursuit of YOU*

Posted in Encouragement, General, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:17 am by The Water Bearer

Happy

I have come across many people who hide from themselves, they resist the pursuit of finding themselves, and miss out on growing into the happiest possible version of themselves.

Have you learned how to be happy and accept who you are, and ignore the opinions of those who set out to change or criticise you? Have you stopped the force of influence from people who you do not aspire to be like?

Are you authentically true to yourself?

Does your life and character reflect who YOU really want to be?

There are some important steps to pursuing the authentic, untainted version of you! Steps towards learning how to become the You, that YOU really want to be.

I have found these steps to be the foundation of what I have gained during over 6years of honest therapy, with a few different psychologists.

Sometimes, often even, a stigma can follow an announcement of seeing a psychologist. Those who have not had therapy, or not understood the need for it, may vastly misjudge those of us who go regularly, and wonder what is ‘wrong’ with us. Some may avoid therapy even if they think they need it, because this stigma covers them with shame. Sure, the most extreme cases of ‘crazy’ are treated in therapy, and so are a variety of mild to severe mental illnesses, mood disorders and psychological conditions. However I don’t feel you have to have a severe problem to benefit from regular therapy. In fact I think everyone would benefit from seeing a good therapist, even just once in a while.

I have found that a good therapist is a sounding board, a place to express your own thoughts, feelings, desires and concerns about who you are and how your life is going. It is place to escape the onslaught of voices from those who have taught us their own rules of good & bad, right & wrong, should & should not. It can become a place where you get to investigate and choose which rules YOU agree with, which ones you want to alter, and which to delete entirely.

A good therapist will not tell you what they think you should or should not do, but will empower you to eliminate those toxic, unhealthy influences and rules you are not benefited by. Those you have adopted through exposure during your lives, which do not improve your sense of fulfillment and self-acceptance.

Have you spent time digging through your beliefs, choices, actions and habits and figured out what makes you tick? I recommend we question everything we were ever taught and test it against what we have learned in our own experiences. What was true for our parents and teachers may not be true for us. What we teach our children is based on our own perceptions and may not be true for them as they grow into their true selves.

Once you have figured out which rules you want to keep and apply, establishing some boundaries will protect your belief system. Developing your own boundaries in a healthy productive way, gives strength and stability to your choices. Good therapists will help with this. The instability from past attempts at boundaries, I have found, resulted because they were actually walls put up reactively, out of anger and resentment etc. These unhealthy walls will probably crumble at the first sign of challenge, or cause even more of the bitterness and anger that first created them.

A healthy proactive boundary will bring a sense of peace, it does not need to be pushed onto anyone else, but when challenged can be gently, or firmly, reinforced exactly where you have comfortably placed it. It gives assurance of the ‘You’ who you want to be, because when challenged, you won’t allow someone you did not permit to influence your beliefs and your sense of the authentic YOU!

hugging

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13 Comments »

  1. This is such a hard thing to teach our children. I want them to be content with who they are…but at the same time I don’t necessarily want them to be acting like idiots simply because they shouldn’t care what people think of them! Ugh.

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    • I agree Gretchen, It is an issues I struggle to come to terms with myself. Yet I feel a couple of things are extremely important to consider when building a secure platform for our children to spring from. One is that they know they are worthy of Love and belonging, through our acceptance, attention and affection, even when they make mistakes or disappoint us. Another is that we resemble someone they can look up to so that when they begin choosing for themselves we become someone they admire and want to be influenced by, through integrity, ethics, grace, forgiveness, tenacity, loyalty, support, encouragement etc. If we are critical they will avoid our advice, if we lack grace they won’t share their mistakes with us and so on…
      Also I believe if we make constant steps in our own lives to give ourselves respect, compassion and continual pursuit of growth and self-awareness and refuse to let the opinions of others make us insecure, then we are showing them how to not care what others think yet they will have enough self-awareness to (hopefully) not act like idiots, well not all the time. Hahaha, But be assured they will appear to be ‘idiots’ to us and others at some point, but as long as they aren’t hurting anyone else I think it’s ok. 🙂 Thank you for your comment & blessings to you!

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      • Thank you for YOUR comment! Yes, unconditional love is huge. Even when they’re…idiots!

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  2. What a wonderful post! You said it so well…!

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  3. dianak262 said,

    Could you give some examples of these healthy boundaries you speak of? And If you don’t mind sharing any helpful techniques you learning from the psychologist, I’d greatly appreciate it 🙂

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    • Thank you for reading Diana, and showing an interest in this complex subject. It is a bit difficult to sum up 6 yrs of therapy in one comment. I am writing a follow-up post about boundaries so you might want to keep an eye out for that. In the mean time I will direct you to a few older posts where I share my therapy breakthroughs….
      https://innerangelsandenemies.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/healing-the-insecurity/
      https://innerangelsandenemies.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/beginning-to-undo-the-damage/
      https://innerangelsandenemies.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/fear-of-mistakes/

      My therapist has also guided me towards meditation, which helps clear away overwhelming judgmental thoughts and gives me some clarity, this is vital when deciding on which boundaries to set. I write about this here…
      https://innerangelsandenemies.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/relaxed-mum-happy-children/

      Here are some examples of healthy boundaries I have set:

      I found some people in my life don’t validate or try to understand my feelings on issues we have. In the past I tried over and over to explain myself, hoping they would understand me and yet I kept getting hurt when my feelings were devalued or dismissed. In an effort to protect myself I set a boundary to stop sharing my deep feelings or struggles with those proven untrustworthy. I learned to validate my own feelings and stopped giving them the power to approve or condemn my feelings.

      Also there are people in my life who have used guilt to dictate what I “should” or “should not” do. After many years of backbreaking efforts to please, I set a boundary to do only what I think is right and am able to do, without stressing to meet the graceless expectations of others. I figure if they can’t accept me at my worst (I am human after all) then they don’t deserve the best I have to give. Those who demand and use guilt as blackmail, get even less effort from me.

      When I mentioned about a challenged boundary being a peaceful thing, I meant that I don’t have to explain it or convince anyone of it. I know it, I stand by it, I reinforced the principle and hold up the boundary within myself, when others try to make me change my mind to suit themselves.

      I hope this information helped. Please let me know if something is unclear or you wonder something else. Best of luck and Blessings to you!

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      • dianak262 said,

        Thank you for the reply. From my understanding you basically set these boundaries within yourself, and because you know what’s right you don’t stress if someone else has a problem with it. Got it, this is how I feel as well. But I do have another question. You said that ” In the past I tried over and over to explain myself, hoping they would understand me and yet I kept getting hurt when my feelings were devalued or dismissed. In an effort to protect myself I set a boundary to stop sharing my deep feelings or struggles with those proven untrustworthy.” and your solution to that was ” I learned to validate my own feelings and stopped giving them the power to approve or condemn my feelings.” But are you now able to talk to them in a way that they would understand, or you completely disconnected with the “unworthy” ones because there’s no hope in fixing the relationship? I for example have a friend who I am reluctant to share certain things with, or give her life advice because she gets defensive, and sometimes it turns into an exchange of too much negative energy. But I feel like I have only good intentions, and am trying to advice positive valuable things. I feel like I’ve put up a boundary because I only get negative feedback, and am on the verge of giving up. I don’t need validation I know I speak the truth, I just feel like the relationship is turning superficial because of the inability for honest communication. I don’t know if this is off topic, but if you have any advice on this issue, I’d appreciate it. Thanks 🙂

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      • Ah that is such a familiar situation for me, I used to have many people in my life like that. And you are right disconnection is most common. I found that once I began setting clear boundaries most of these types of people left my life almost completely. I was sad and hurt when they turned on me like that, but here I am a few years later and can see so many benefits to life without them. Lighter and much less nonsense drama. I then found I became closer friends with others who have healthy boundaries too. We appreciate each others advice and all those old familiar problems just don’t come up.
        There are one or two who I have maintained some relationship with but yes you are right it moved to become superficial, which is extremely difficult for someone like me. I’m a mermaid, loves and thrives in the deep and afraid of shallow living.
        Then there are those who can adapt and change with your boundaries and show great respect for your courage to change. With anyone I simply respond to their lead, if they retaliate in negative energy I make my excuses and leave without contributing negatively. An example excuse is… “This conversation is no longer productive for me so I need to go”. When they are pleasant I will engage, only usually with caution.
        In your current situation I get the feeling you are holding onto a relationship you have outgrown. Please read my post ‘Friends or Enemies?’ which explains this better. Does this answer help you? Thanks again for dropping by. I am enjoying the exchange. Blessings to you!

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      • dianak262 said,

        It’s awesome that you can relate from your life experiences. And Yes this post did help. I am now more reassured in what I should do. Outgrown is a good definition of my situation. I guess I just felt like she’ll come around, and that I shouldn’t give up(What if I was in her shoes). I thought people change and may be at a different life stage she’d understand and appreciate me. But doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen any time soon. Time to move on. Thank you 🙂

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      • Sounds like you have a fair bit of wisdom in your thinking on this subject. It is always hard to let go and stop trying to help someone you care deeply for. Yet I still hold out hope that if & when they do come to their senses and value such help, they will think back to your words of wisdom and be grateful. I wrote a post called The Stain of Words a while back, it explains how important it is to speak out in your beliefs, take the risks. Thank you so much for your willing heart as you have shared here. God Bless You!

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  4. Thank you for this! Lovely.

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