Last night I attended my daughter’s high school orientation. She is my 3rd child entering high school…when will it end….I AM SO TIRED!!! The vice principal explained that the same morning she encouraged our children to write down 2 goals for themselves and place them in a place visible each day. Of course, my daughter thought this was dumb….as they say youth is wasted on the young…lol. I, however think it is a great idea. Write down two goals and work toward them each day.
There was an abundance of talk about how our children could be whoever they imagine they wish to be…forget the hardship of middle school and reinvent yourself. Awesome concept for all of us, I think.
When I was 16 years old I suffered a traumatic experience, one that catapulted me into a battle of depression, self-worth and esteem for many years, peaking during my senior year to the point of suicidal thoughts and actions. Did I really want to die…NOPE…I don’t believe any of us wish to die. We are equipped with an innate drive and will to survive, hence our built-in fight or flight responses. So why the increase in suicide….I believe that suicidal people, at least this was my experience, simply want relief from the ever-present internal pain that consumes them. Depression is a dark emotional abyss, where logic is extinguished. Sure, suicidal people can function and even paint on a pretty smile, which is why so many of us are shocked to hear of a person’s death at their own hand. Often sentiments of what a happy, smart, all-american embodiment the person seemed to be is expressed from loved ones.
My point is this….I spent an unnecessary portion of my life consumed in the darkness, as a result of an event outside of my control. I allowed this event to steal my joy and hold me captive within its’ tentacles of self blame, fear, worthlessness and pity.
Finally in my thirties, I sought therapy, which I had done in the past, however this time…I was in charge. I CHOSE my counselor, I refused the mindset that if this person held a degree, a title and owned (or rented) an office with a chair and a desk that they were all that! I shopped around…and I finally found an intuitive, sensitive, inspiring and goal-oriented counselor. I never realized before how IMPORTANT the last characteristic was to therapy. Goal-oriented….you see… we can spend week after week, month after month, year after year dredging up old wounds…rehash them with excruciating detail and never take a step forward. This is my definition of dead-end therapy and I succumbed to its tempting allure for many years. We all have a story, do we not…some of them happy, some sad, some tragic and so on. What I learned from my therapist is as vital as it is to mourn our tragedies…we must mourn and move forward. Observe, identify, express, grieve and MOVE FORWARD!! I would not say I am thankful for my trauma, but I will say the event has contributed greatly to the person I am today. I have freed myself from the entangled web that surrounded me and enabled myself to be positively affective for others.
How does all of this tie together with freshman orientation and reinventing ourselves (man did I ever get sidetracked)….just as highschool is a new start for our children, adults obtain the ability to reinvent ourselves whenever we choose.
Who do you wish to be?
Think about it.
Write it down.
Brainstorm how to achieve your reinvention.
Break it into small steps.
We furnish our past PERMISSION to hold us captive.
We boast the authority to be who we want to be.
We wield the authority to free ourselves from old patterns and messages.
If you need to mourn, do it…..it’s not fun, but necessary.
Find a way to use pain as your fuel to achieve.