Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's OK to be YOU!

Who am I? Who am I, really? Do I like to be flashy or plain? Am I outgoing or keep to myself? What is my favorite color? Blue? Pink? Light green? Pine green? Am I in to sports? Or art? Do I like to drive a fast car? An economical one? Am I attracted to brunettes? Blonde's? Redheads? What kind of job do I want to do for the rest of my life? Am I happy in this one? Should I change? Stay the same? Do I like fish? Steak? Do I want to stay is this relationship? Leave? Am I spiritual? An atheist? Am I happy with me? Or, is there something I want to change about me? How can I accept myself more?

There are soooo many questions that when we get to explore the possible answers to them we find that we are varied and unique from any one else. Conversely, when we keep ourselves from exploring who we are, or are kept from exploring who we are by our primary care-givers while growing up, we find that we become stunted in our growth and unhappy.

Chelsea (all characters mentioned in this blog are fictional, though based on clinical experience) was a 26 year old woman who was engaged and had a two year old son. She had very little sense of who she was and would hardly ever speak up for her self as a result. Her fiance began making unilateral decisions for her and her son, and she found her self shutting down more and more. Before long (and not surprisingly) Chelsea was majorly depressed. She could not understand why, though, as she seemed to have everything she wanted and needed to be happy.

It wasn't until we began to explore who she was separate from anyone else that the answers began to come up. Chelsea had been raised to be the "perfect little girl". She was quiet, calm, got straight A's throughout school, looked pretty, and always did what her parents thought was right for her. She had never gone through a rebellious stage with her parents, and therefore never really became aware of who she was as an individual.

So, we began to explore who she was, without judgment or condemnation.

Turns out she was an artist and she loved the Soul Collage Cards. She began to explore the challenges of what it was to be an adult, and still make time to explore things she enjoyed. She loved shopping, dining out, traveling, and partying with friends. However, she also loved her son and her fiance and wanted to create a stable and happy home.

Before long, Chelsea was realizing that it was ok to have the longings and desires she thought were "taboo". She also realized that she had to find ways to balance her life so that all of her desires could be possible. She began speaking up with her fiance, asking to be included in decisions made regarding the family. She realized that she didn't have to be that perfect little girl anymore and instead started to relax with expectations she had for her self. She was smiling again and feeling more and more in control of her life, having it work for HER.

Homework: Take time to discover YOU! Give yourself permission to want and desire things in all aspects of your life/personality. Then, find that balance to have it all work for you. Even if you can't have what you desire now, look for ways that it can work in the future. Don't give up on you and what you want. Instead, find ways to give voice to your dreams!

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