[Article via Psychology Today. Click above for full post]
Every week during a group counseling session I facilitate, people go around and check-in about their current thoughts and feelings. What I’ve been noticing since I started is not something so different from what happens outside of therapy, which is that people will say what they think you want to hear. When going around the group, I will hear people describe their current hardships for several minutes and then finish their check-in with “but, other than that, I’m ok.”
We’ve all been guilty of doing this type of thing. In one sentence, we rationalize, accommodate, and negate all of our previous experiences. We go on for 5 minutes describing all our troubles and then negate it with a simple “but I’m ok.”
The first step is to speak your truth. Are you really ok? What does “ok” even mean? Does “ok” mean that you stuff the feelings associated with all the negative things for just a few minutes to get through it, but in reality, the stress of everything shows up in other ways (e.g. drugs, eating, alcohol, gambling, shopping, anger, etc.)?
Maybe “ok” means that you acknowledge all the difficulties going on in your life, but that you also acknowledge that there are some pretty good things too (e.g. good health, satisfied relationships, a good friend, money, etc.). If this is the case, why not devote some attention to these instead of swiping it under the broad category of “ok.” It’s so easy for our focus to drift towards the negative, but it can be just as valuable to focus on the positive. What are the things that are “ok”? The positives can often be great teachers for the negatives. How you get to the positives in one area of life can teach you how to get to the positives in other areas of your life.
Whatever “ok” means, speak your truth. If something is difficult, sit with the difficulty, acknowledge it by name, and describe it. You don’t have to live in the pain, but you also don’t have to deny it. It’s easy to jump from situation to situation without taking time to realize what is going on. Life happens. We’re betrayed. We’re lied to. A loved one dies. We’re fired. Where we get into trouble is that we ignore all these hardships and say things are “ok,” but then the hardships show up in ways that we didn’t realize. They show up in our relationships, in our anger, in our impatience, how we talk to other people, and more importantly, how we talk to ourselves.
The second step is to speak the truth of your experience for better AND for worse…
[Rest of article is posted on Psychology Today. See below for link.]
Original article posted on Psychology Today. Read the rest of the post here at Psychology Today!
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