Battle Between Good and Evil

Battle Between Good and Evil

I love this story about the battle between good and evil!

An old Cherokee told his grandson. “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego.  The Other is Good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth.”

The Boy thought about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”

The old Man quietly replied, “The One you feed”  — Author Unknown

Which wolf are you feeding? Are you winning or losing at this journey called life?

If you are constantly in a battle,  take inventory of your life. Make sure you are engaging in activities that feed Good and make Evil die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other People’s Expectations

Other People's Expectations

Are you letting other people’s expectations control you?  Take some time and reflect on your life.  What is the source behind the motivation of your next big purchase?  What inspired your new goal?  Are you making a decision today because it is to satisfy some internal longing or to do what others expect of you?

There is a story told about a fisherman who started a fish market; his store sign read, FRESH FISH SOLD HERE DAILY.  The neighbor thought that the sign was too wordy and said to him, “We know you are going to sell fresh fish.  You aren’t going to sell stale fish, are you?  Why not remove the word FRESH?”

The next day, the sign read, FISH SOLD HERE DAILY.  The fisherman’s friend passed by and said, “Of course you are selling fish, and we know where you are selling them, so take away the words SOLD and HERE.

The next day, the sign read FISH DAILY.  The fisherman’s brother came home from college and said, “The sign is confusing.  Everybody knows you are selling fish every day.  Remove the word DAILY.”

The next day the sign read FISH.  A passerby read the sign and he thought, “Fish?  Fish what?  Fish where?”

When you are living up to other people’s expectations, you will find yourself just like the fisherman, spinning in circles and trying to please everyone.  This road only leads to frustration, disappointment, and exhaustion.  Stop hurting and betraying yourself!

I truly believe that when we constantly try to meet other people’s expectations, we lack identity and feel inferior to others.  We should not be willing to betray our self in order to obtain others’ approval and acceptance.  There is nothing wrong with asking people their opinions, but at the end of the day that is all it is — their opinion!

Everyone is a unique person who God has placed on this earth to accomplish a great purpose. We are not meant to do what others expect of us but what God expects and has purposed for our life.

Take time to get to know yourself and what God’s purpose is for you.  When making that next decision, ask yourself whose voice is it that is motivating you —  mom, dad, spouse, friend, family, boss — or is it the voice of God?

Be confident and know who you are in God because a sure fire way to live a regretful life is to spend your life meeting other people’s expectations.

Who’s Your Counselor’s Counselor?

Who's Your Counselor's Counselor

As I near the end of collecting my state LPC-Intern hours, I have realized the importance of the question: Who’s your counselor’s counselor?  At first, I found it easy to compartmentalized the traumas that I was hearing on a daily basis from my clients and not allowing their stories to effect me.  However, after two plus years (not including when I was in school gaining my internship hours) of stories upon stories, I found myself becoming anxious and depressed.

Becoming a counselor is not the easiest career, since you allow yourself to absorb some one else’s traumatic events and keep their story confidential.  I am a secret of vaults that not even truth serum could penetrate.  With all of the traumatic events that I took in, I began to obtain somewhat a cynical view of the world.  I started to believe that things are horrible and would not change.  I began a routine of working long hours and coming home to “zombie out” in front of the TV.  I gave up reading an enjoyable book, walking the dogs around the neighborhood and enjoying “me time” at a local restaurant.  As days turned into weeks into months on end with this routine and lack of hobbies, I became depressed.  There were times when I would go without a shower for two days, be too tired to brush my teeth at night and oversleeping on the weekend.

As my depression grew, I realized my anxiety was increasing too.  I began to question my capabilities as a counselor, had paranoid thoughts and became more susceptible to illnesses.  Just in three months, I was sick twice!  I was living in fear and wanted to find excuses to not attend work or anything for that matter.  As a counselor, I know a multitude of coping skills, yet I chose not to participate in them.  I felt hollow and yet, somehow, I was still functioning as a counselor to my clients.  I began to notice that my clients were doing better than me!

Enough was enough – I knew something had to change: me.  How was I ever to promote self-care to my clients without taking care of myself?  I began take slow steps towards recovery… started with journaling my thoughts and emotions.  I found that I was able to sleep a little bit better after emptying my mind.  I started openly discussing my struggle with supportive colleagues, where they provided a sound board for me.  I asked for a two-week hiatus from facilitating night groups to reduce my over-worked work load – which was granted.  I began reading the book The Four Agreements that a colleague provided for me and I’m taking it to heart.  I even received some of my creativity spark back from doing all of these self-care acts.

But of course, the largest step that I took in recovery was this: contacting a counselor!  I am currently waiting for the counselor to contact me back to schedule my first session, but I am feeling a multitude of feelings – scared, nervousness, relief and excitement.  Out of all those emotions, excitement is the greatest.  I am excited to rediscover who I am.  And that in a nutshell is why even I as a counselor requires a counselor!  So, who’s your counselor’s counselor?

YOU Have To Love Yourself

YouGottaLoveYourselfThe fact that someone else loves you doesn’t rescue you from the project of loving yourself. – Sahaj Kohli

Such a powerful reminder that no matter who you invite into your life, no matter how much their love soothes the pains of the past, you still have to make it a priority to love yourself.

Take time out today and everyday moving forward to love yourself…

  1. Forgive yourself.
  2. Be patient with yourself.
  3. Do what honors yourself.
  4. Accept yourself and your quirks.
  5. Educate yourself.
  6. Ensure you are engaging in activities that respect yourself.
  7. And have fun doing things all by yourself!

 

Let’s challenge ourselves to not get too caught up in the romance of love and then stop pouring into ourselves.

Change of Perspective on Mental Illness

Changing Perspective on Mental Illness

The part about counseling that I look least forward to is the diagnosis portion.  No matter how many times I have challenged clients to view the diagnosis as a separate thing from their personality, it never fails – many of them view themselves as the diagnosis.  Sometimes the clients will use the diagnosis as a pessimistic barrier.  “I can’t do ____, because I am bipolar”, “I will never ____, because I am schizophrenic”, etc.  There is nothing wrong with limited thinking, but how great would it be to be optimistic about a diagnosis?

I am currently reading Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson.  She is open and honest about her battle with mental illness, with a funny twist.  I find myself at times laughing out loud with her descriptions of thoughts and plans of action.  The book is refreshing because Mrs. Lawson shows that mental illness does not need to cripple you; if anything it is about embracing the differences and finding joy in knowing that you are not like everyone else.  She views the term “crazy” as a good thing, opposed to bad.  I have mixed emotions on finishing this book, because I have yet to find another author with the same perspective as hers.

If you or someone you know is viewing their diagnosis as a burden instead of grace, I would highly recommend this book.  Not only will you or they be deep belly laughing, but it will broaden your/their view of mental illness.  Enjoy reading and let me know your thoughts!

Count Your Blessings

Count Your BlessingsI was really elated when I filled up earlier this week for gas.  Yay for $1.73/gallon!!  That’s right, Kroger’s card is an ultimate life saver (at least in a worldly sense).  As I was pumping my gas, which ended up totaling to less than $17.00, I began to think how grateful I was to receive such an awesome deal.  Then my mind began to wonder…

What else am I grateful for??

I started to list off how blessed I was to own my car.  My car is a 2010 Toyota Prius and it provides me a safe trip from point A to point B — it fits my needs perfectly.  I am blessed to have a job (really, two jobs) that can provide the financial income to allow me to own this car.  I am blessed that I have employers that believe in my skills and work ethics.  I am blessed to have a career path, which was allowed via my education – both bachelors and masters.  I am fortunate to grow up in a family that encouraged me to attend school, in order to better my future.  I am grateful to have grown up in a family that was nurturing to my needs.  I am blessed to be alive by my Father – the One who believed in me at the time of my conception, up until now.  I know I am truly blessed to be a child of God and He has great plans for me.

Yes, tangential thinking, but when you notice one blessing, you began to count all the other blessings that led up to the point of your current blessing.  So, have you counted your blessings today?