Okay. To jump RIGHT IN…
I have been going to counseling for quite a while now. I had an 8 month break (mostly due to Eric touring) and have recently gone back again. I won’t sugar coat it – it’s hard but it’s so incredibly rewarding, refreshing & it’s a game changer. I’m going to write a future blog post about why I’m going but today? I just wanted to touch on my session… So here goes…
Yesterday I paid someone to make me cry and here is what i learned:
(1) I am okay. Just me. The way I am.
Please note: this is not me saying you are HEALTHY just the way you are. But YOU…just you (your personality, your quirks… what makes you “you”)
…You are OKAY! You are not a bad, terrible person.
It is important for us to strive to be the healthiest version of “you” that you can be
(I think if I type “you” one more time, my computer might blow up.)
I would not recommend thinking along the lines of “well, i’m okay. Just me the way I am, like you said” and leave it at that. Like I said, You ARE okay but its not good for anyone to stay where they’re at, especially if you’re not emotionally healthy. With that, however, you don’t want to obsess about constantly being a “better version” of yourself because that can lead to thinking the current you isn’t enough. *sigh* It can get out of hand very quickly. Did that even make sense? Well anyways…
(2) I am my own person. I am not a replica of anyone.
Those of us that are easily swayed, we can turn into other people without ever realizing it. Losing our true self and being none-the-wiser. You are your own person. You have your own personality. You can be like others, parts of your parents and your siblings and relatives…similar to friends… but you are YOU.
If you are a “mini-me” of someone else, that is absolutely fine! Embrace that! But don’t forget that you are not them. You are still you and nothing someone has done or will do can determine who you really are. They certainly cannot determine what you can or cannot do, either.
What am I saying here? If you are just like someone else… this could be a friend or relative… and you see traits in them that you see in yourself that you don’t like.. then remember that you are not a mold. You are not confined to the way that person behaves. You…are….you. Make something of that. Be different. Be healthier.
(3) I have to stand up for the way I feel.
Basically, don’t be a people-pleaser (no matter who you’re trying to please).
Feel your feelings and express them.
You still have to think everything through. This is definitely me not “giving permission” to react and say “well she told me to express my feelings as I felt them.” Well yes, sure… but try not to react on impulse. 🙂 Trust me.. this is the pot calling the kettle black – believe you me!!!
It’s hard, but try not to lash out emotionally and then say “well you said to feel and express as they are. To not judge them and accept what you feel.” You are correct. Accept your feelings as they are… that you feel “that way” and its okay that you do. However, mull it over before reacting. Think of all the various sides. Think of other perspectives and be sure that what you feel is something that you want to share. And then if and when you’re ready to share? Be confident. THIS is you, the healthy side of you. This is how you feel and no one should judge you for that. No one should make you feel small or like you’re a bother to them because you feel that way. Speak up for yourself but with love and grace to others.
(4) I am allowed to be proud of myself.
I am someone who naturally likes who I am and is proud of what I have accomplished in all aspects of life. However I am also very practical. I think in black and white with intense logical conclusions. Sometimes if I learn something and apply it, I think “well, thats just the way it is. You learn something and then you apply it.” But sometimes what I don’t see is how fast I apply it or that maybe its a very hard challenge that most people aren’t successful with. So I should be PROUD. So I am learning to affirm that in myself.
My husband – Eric Barfield – gave me a great example. It’s like how baseball players practice all their life, constantly training. So when they hit a homerun, it’s no surprise that they shrug it off like it’s no big deal, meanwhile we’re in the stands acting like we’re about to go to war, charging into battle like an amazon warrior.
So with that said, I want to say to myself…
Sarah, I am proud that you were able to overcome this life-altering….game changing challenge
(*insert evil grinning emoji* – are you dying to know what that is?!?! I’ll go into it more in another blog… stay tuned!)
(5) I am not a bad person
Sometimes the way we think of ourselves, the way others make us feel or the doubts we have in our abilities make us feel like we are not good people. Like we’re flawed (and we are) but that it’s all our fault and because we can’t be perfect 24/7… we are bad.
If you’re like me (an 8 on the Enneagram… again, something I’ll go into later) you feel like you can control ANYTHING (Hitler was an 8 lol). When you can’t “buck up” and fix yourself, its very, very hard. You feel like a failure and a bad person.
But. You. Are. Not….
So let me just say this: counseling is hard. You face some extremely tough emotions. But it’s far harder to live in a world where you don’t know yourself. You don’t know why you feel the way you do, you don’t know why you can’t change and you don’t know why you’re hurting. Sometimes? You don’t even KNOW you’re hurting. That is just not the way to live this life. If you can afford it, I cannot recommend counseling enough.
You are not weak if you go. You are not pathetic. You are not stupid. You are not worthless…
PS: if you try it and you don’t like it, consider trying another counselor before you give up. Not every counselor fits you! You have to try and find someone who works with you and your personality – someone who GETS you. Don’t quit…
Last & Final (very important) note:
I do not judge you if you do or do not go to counseling.
Do I think it’s wonderful? YES.
Do I think it can make you a healthier version of yourself? YES.
But I know that it can get very expensive (most will help you out and let you pay based on your income). I know that it’s very hard to get to a place where you’re willing to face your demons.
You are loved. You are cared about. With me, you are SAFE.
Have a good day, lovelies.
Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? – Rumi