Archives for Relationships
I just read this wonderful piece by fellow Psych Central blogger Elisha Goldstein. A wise older man told him: "You know, it's a funny thing about time, you never get it back once it passes."
We may be going about our business, and we come across a coworker, parent, writer, blogger, maybe even a stranger who seems to have it all. Maybe we get sucked into their social media feed (for an hour or hours). Maybe we see them at the park or at a party. This someone who has the perfect life, the perfect body, the perfect wardrobe, the perfect partner, the perfect home, the perfect sense of humor, the perfect skills. This someone always knows what to say. They always know what to do. They rarely make mistakes.
I just penned a piece for our main blog about being ourselves, what this really means and what it really looks like. One of the psychologists I interviewed shared this story with me: A young man was deeply ashamed about his enormous debt from student loans and credit cards. He didn't want anyone to know, including his friends, because he feared that they would judge and exclude him.
Many of us think we have to repay anyone who says something nice or complimentary to us, to anyone who takes us to dinner, to anyone who pays attention or is kind in some other way (whether the kindness is genuine or ill-intentioned). We think we owe something beyond a heartfelt thank-you.
Self-care is a term that gets thrown around a lot. We might think it's synonymous with bubble baths, manicures and massages. And sometimes self-care might be these things. But at the heart of it, at its core, self-care is self-preservation. It is shielding ourselves from harm and danger. Which could mean anything from surrounding ourselves with trustworthy people to seeing a therapist for managing our ADHD to eating when we're hungry to taking regular relaxation breaks.
Today, I'm sharing words you might need to hear right now, or words you might need to remember, because you easily forget, or because you've never heard them. Words you can say to yourself, because you don't have to wait for someone else to tell you. Because telling yourself is enough...
So often what we want most when we're overwhelmed, afraid, exhausted, lost, a foreigner in our own bodies is to be seen. To be heard. To have another human being understand, really understand, what we're going through, where we're coming from. To have another human being listen, without texting, without looking around, without criticizing. To look at us directly, to look into our eyes. To be present with us wholeheartedly.
There is a beautiful quote from Baal Shem Tov: "Let me fall if I must fall. The one I will become will catch me." Which always reminds me that we have the power to catch ourselves, even if we don't think we can. That is comforting and empowering, because all of us will fall. We may fall from the sky, a very long descent. We may fall out of a second-story window, closer to the ground but still potentially bruised. But, again, these falls are OK. Because we can handle this. Because we've got this. We can be our own superman, swooping in when we've been thrown from a building.
A few Sundays ago, I shared these 20 questions, which we can ask ourselves and our loved ones. When we ask questions---whether they're serious or silly---we get to dig deeper. We find out things we never knew. We understand better. And we cultivate stronger bonds, whether it's with ourselves or with someone else. Both are equally important.
You are holding on so tightly. So tightly you can barely breathe. You cling to this something with such force that on some days, it knocks you off your feet. Maybe you can't focus on much else. Maybe you get headaches and the anxiety sweeps through your body like a storm. Or maybe it's a subtle buzzing that flies about your brain.