Lessons from Therapy: The Importance of Discomfort

Hello my friends,

I wanted to share with you one of the important lessons that I learned from therapy…the importance of discomfort. I think it goes hand in hand with the heaping dose of patience that therapy teaches you.

Discomfort is necessary for change to happen. This fact of life has yet to fail me. Whether it be a waistband that’s too tight or a relationship that doesn’t feel quit right, discomfort holds a mirror to your current situation and gives you the insight that leads you to change. When we ignore what our inner voice is telling us, we not only allow ourselves to be trapped in unsavory situations but we also limit ourselves from reaching our full potential. The next time that you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation lean into it. Listen to what the frame of mind is telling you. Oftentimes, we limit ourselves by failing to acknowledge the truth that is right in front of us.

One of the things that I am working on in therapy is my fear of failure. Unfortunately, by some cruel twist fate you cannot work through lifelong issues without failing every now and then. This is probably one of the most frustrating things about consciously working on yourself. There is no such thing as being perfect. There is only better and sometimes better is “worse” than where you started. It’s the non-linear pathway that growth often takes. Growth, the albatross that it is, breeds an immense amount of discomfort. For every step forward, there is a potential for a backslide that will leave you reeling. In conclusion, there is no growth without discomfort.

I hope you all find peace and enlightenment in your discomfort.

Yours always,

EM

Lessons from Therapy(2): The Weight of Nothingness

I remember the first time that I encountered the phantom that is nothingness. An indescribable weight. Unlike Atlas, whose form is bent and broken under the weight of the world upon his shoulders, there was nothing there. An unspoken and unseen burden. A loss for words. A loneliness. You see, there are many burdens that swallow the soul and break down even the strongest of beings. Yet they seem to be comprehensible, but nothingness is everything without being. There is not a panacea for this malady. No finger to point towards blame. There is… .

It evokes a soft plea for help. Others don’t understand. They may have felt this nothingness at some point, yet in its non-existent uniformity it still bears weight differently for different people. Nothingness was the weight that beared down upon me the first time I ventured into my therapist’s office. It seemed as if my body defied Newton’s laws of gravity as I felt myself sinking below the couch that was meant to support me; it was a metaphor for the discomfort that permeated every aspect of my life. I barely made it into the office that day. I’m not even ashamed to admit that I was dragged out of bed and still wearing PJs. I was greeted with a hello and a sincere compliment about my ensemble. She was greeted with a deluge of tears. That was enough for me.

Very few words were exchanged that day. To the outside world, it would not be seen as progress. It would not be viewed as the inception of a strong bond. No one would see what I’d discovered for myself that day, and that’s okay. I wasn’t there for anyone else. I was barely there for myself. I understood that I found a space to cultivate the words that would slowly unload the invisible burden upon my shoulders.

The first lesson that I learned from therapy was the very fact that I needed it.

Yours always,

EM

P.S. I am a firm believer in therapy…even if you believe that you are not struggling with anything in your life. Perhaps you’ve encourage others in your life to seek it out, but felt that you were unworthy of the same service. You are. I encourage you to seek out help if you need it or even if you don’t. It’s nice to share in a space without judgement.

If You, or SOMEONE you Know is in Crisis Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).

Lessons from Therapy: Two Roads Diverged in the Wood and I– I Took the Most Convenient Path

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to understand many things about life. Bills do not magically pay themselves. You may hate your job, but you’d hate your life without one even more. Justin Timberlake’s frosted tips were never attractive. One of the biggest revelations of my life, however, is that not everything has to be incredible; if something is not incredible, it can still be extraordinarily meaningful.

Sometimes just doing is doing just enough– this is what I call the most convenient path. In essence, we all need to learn to give ourselves grace. Not everyone can take the road less traveled and that’s okay. We’re not all meant to be start-up founders. There is comfort in what is known. Our lives are complicated and many of us are just doing the best that we can. Instead of judging ourselves for not taking the road less traveled, we should appreciate ourselves for venturing to journey in the first place. No one said that life would be easy and we’ve all experienced doses of that to some degree. We deserve to give ourselves some credit.

Yours always,

EM

Me Crush Mondays …because we all deserve to love ourselves the way that Kanye loves Kanye

In honor of the undoubtedly rough week ahead, I’ve decided to start a new series called Me Crush Mondays. I’m really excited to share this concept with y’all. Mondays signal the start to a new week, but they can also serve as a mini refresh/ source of encouragement if you allow for them to. Instead of getting the Monday scaries, we can all work towards shaping a positive habit or form of self care that energizes us for the start of the week. I’ve always struggled with Mondays and I wanted to share this idea with y’all as soon as it popped into my head. I hope that it may help you in some small way. Perhaps, you can inspire others in your lives to start the week off with a more positive mindset…I just realized how ironic my intro sentence is haha.

In all honesty, very few of us give ourselves the appreciation that we deserve. For this first Me Crush Monday, I encourage you to make a list of at least 5 affirmations. Take time to meditate upon them. Try not to make them general affirmations. Make them specific to you and your journey. On Monday, I want you to read them to yourself while looking in the mirror- when you wake up in the morning, when you take a lunch break, or whenever you have time.

I’ll share with you one of my first affirmations: You are strong for choosing to court the uncertainty that comes with pursuing your dreams in the midst of your deep grief.

Side note: As counterintuitive as it may seem, these Monday posts will go live on Sundays. I’m hoping that this will give you time to prepare yourself/ have something to look forward to on Mondays. Of course, all of these activities can be performed at any point in the week.

Feel free to share some of your affirmations below. I’d love to hear from you. Don’t forget…

Saturday Musing: Adulthood-When Mundane Becomes Extraordinary

Being an adult is an underrated form of being extraordinary. After a day of cleaning (well half cleaning) the house, I’m sitting here writing this post. I’m not sure why this never donned upon me before, but being an adult is truly extraordinary. After an exhausting week of work, we are greeted by the weekend. A time we are supposed to reserve for rest and relaxation. A time that many of us reserve for doing the work in our lives that doesn’t get recognition or pay-cleaning, cooking, paying the bills, going to the grocery store, and general preparation for the week ahead. Adulthood and life in general is composed of these little, mundane moments. That’s why we fail to acknowledge our extraordinary. I didn’t feel like waking up early in order to preserve my sleep schedule and I certainly didn’t feel like getting out of bed today. Yet, I did.

We are so sold upon the idea of what we have to do that we forget to appreciate ourselves for getting it done. Yes, the house must be cleaned and the bills need to be paid, but it doesn’t make us any less extraordinary for doing those things. During our early years, we are rewarded for our efforts through very obvious forms of advancement. We move up in grade levels, earn diplomas, and for some of us degrees. Finally, if we’re lucky, we get our first job. That’s where it ends. No matter how many promotions you may get or cities that you move to, your life is defined by the mundane because adulthood is mundane. However, the extraordinary comes in when we choose to embrace the mundane. Some days we may run from it and that’s okay, but on average we get things done without so much as a second thought.

I always saw the extraordinary in my mother. It seemed like she moved through life with ease-no small feat for a single mother. I didn’t realize it growing up, but there’s nothing easy about it at all. I was even selling her extraordinary short. She made a million selfless, mundane decisions that kept our world turning. Her extraordinary was beyond what I could fathom. So today, and every day, take time to appreciate yourself for the mundane-especially if you’re a parent. Just know that your mundane is what makes you extraordinary.

I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what makes your mundane extraordinary.

Sincerely,

EM

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