My job is to help individuals and families in many ways.
Generally it is in regards to problematic thoughts, feelings and behaviors associated with trauma, addiction and relationship breakdown, especially between family members.
I work with women/men, parents/children, young/old, healthy/unhealthy. The demographics of the clients I service are varied, and even though there is a huge range of personalities and other factors which influence their particular circumstances, there is generally one common theme.
They don’t take responsibility for how they feel.
I know life is tough at times, especially when we are treated in inhumane and traumatizing ways. People do terrible things to one another—that’s for sure—but ultimately, we have the final say in how we feel.
Some experiences also challenge us beyond the capabilities we have at the time, so of course we will be significantly impacted by it. Yet the sooner we start taking responsibility for how we feel, the sooner we find our peace.
There is just no other way.
No matter what difficulty we have in our life—such as a broken relationship or a sick loved one—we always have responsibility for our inner peace.
As Buddha said, “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
If we are to take this literally, then:
- Your ex didn’t just break your heart—you’re continuing to break it.
- Your child isn’t putting you through hell alone—you’re also putting yourself through hell.
- Your boss isn’t exclusively making your job unbearable—you’re also making your job unbearable.
- Your parents didn’t alone hurt you—you’re also hurting yourself.
I know these truths might be hard for some of us to hear, but they must be accepted and embraced so that our growth can occur. Otherwise, the same dysfunctional thoughts and emotions will be repeated for the rest of our life.
If we continue to rely on others to make us feel good, then we’re destined to live a life of suffering, because we all know that as soon as one interpersonal issue is resolved, another one arises.
On the plus side, it is extremely empowering to take control of what we think and how we feel. That’s what I aim to help my clients achieve. Once we master our thoughts and feelings, we are free to move through the rest of our life in peace, no matter what unfolds around us.
It’s never too late to take the power back.
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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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