Who Are You Doing This For?

You are not required to be anything for anyone but you.

When we hear this, we start to come up with reasons why we can’t be who we want to be, usually because of other peoples needs.

And this is understandable. We get into patterns of being things for others to survive when we’re little, and then we grow up continuing to be those things for others when we don’t need to anymore, and we get resentful.

What if I told you that you have more freedom than you think you do?

Yes, others may not receive this well. Our fear of how others will take our decisions, judge us, or feel hurt is often why we decide to not take steps for ourselves.

This is often the case when we set up a boundary that wasn’t there before. Others don’t like it. They may fight it, get angry, sad, whatever it may be.

But if you are putting up a boundary in order to take care of yourself, you are not responsible for how anyone else reacts to that.

Let me say that again. You are not responsible for how anyone reacts to you putting up a boundary.

When we fail to set a boundary, what we are telling ourselves is that our needs are less important than the other persons. This part of you needs compassion and understanding that at one time, you may have needed to believe that in order to survive your childhood.

But in adulthood, we do ourselves a disservice when we continue to believe that we aren’t as important as others, when we shut down those needs.

It can be helpful to identify whose needs we are putting first by asking ourselves: Who am I doing this for? Is it for me? Do I want to do this?

Its not your job to fix others. Its not your job to be attuned to others needs. Its not your job to say yes when you want to say no. You are not responsible for others. You are allowed to have your experience. You are allowed to ask for what you need.

Not everyone will understand this. How someone else reacts is a reflection of their internal world. We have no control over this, only control over how we respond to others.

You are not required to be anything for anyone but you.

This blog or website are not a replacement for therapy or therapeutic intervention. Please see a therapist or mental health professional for personalized therapy.

You Are Not Alone

It is easy to believe that we are sole entities having a unique experience, that we are the only one having that experience or feeling. Especially in our increasingly (dis)connected world that we live in.

And your experience is unique. But it doesn’t mean that others have never felt that way before, or experienced similar hardship. That we really are all humans having similar experiences that just look different.

Even though mental health is becoming more discussed and recognized, we are less connected to each other than ever. We are often alone with ourselves, or doing everything in our power to not be.

Our relationship to self impacts everything. This isn’t to suggest that each of us are the centre of the universe, but that how we meet ourselves impacts how we can meet others. It impacts how we show up in the world.

I believe cultivating a healthy relationship with ourselves is fundamental to our ability to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives. When we aren’t trying to outrun ourselves, we seek people out to enjoy their company, not as a means of avoidance.

Your relationship to self dictates how you talk to others, what you pursue or don’t pursue, staying with things that don’t serve you, how you handle conflict, how you meet yourself when you’re not happy, what you’re drawn to or pulled away from, what you will or will not tolerate, codependency, the list goes on.

Cultivating a good relationship to yourself involves finding a safe space, preferably a therapists office, and not running anymore. Being alone with yourself in a supported space. Having curiosity about what comes up rather than fear of your own thoughts. Truly meeting yourself, and those unhealed parts that have never been tended to that have been calling for your attention for years.

You will always be with yourself, so why not befriend yourself? You’re worth it, and you are not alone.

This blog post and website are not substitutes for therapy or therapeutic intervention. Please seek out a counsellor or mental health professional for personalized therapy.

The Foundation of Our Mental Health

Being human is hard. As Brene Brown so eloquently puts it, “we are wired for struggle”. Yet we often continue to indulge in the fantasy of one day getting there, to that magical place where we are at peace, we’ve figured it out, got it together and we’ve made it. In a lot of ways, we adopt this mindset because its sold to us in a pretty package with the promise of a care free life. Just follow these steps, and maybe you can relax in retirement when you’ll have time. Wait, what?

Its so ingrained in us that we don’t believe we should struggle. We don’t understand it when we do, and often refuse, resist, or deny that we are struggling which you know, always helps.

This belief that we don’t think we should struggle causes us a lot of grief. When we constantly deny our reality and current circumstances, we are denying ourselves the experience of living fully. Of truly being alive. We deny ourselves the choice to move forward. We keep ourselves stuck.

Who says you shouldn’t struggle? Do you know anyone that has never struggled? If so, I think they deserve an Oscar for that performance. Call the Academy!

At the base of it all, it always comes back to our relationship to ourselves. Relationships and circumstances may come and go, but we will always be with ourselves. For some, this may be an “oh great” moment. I feel you. There is often an “oh shit” moment when we recognize the areas we are responsible for ourselves and our choices, and that we cannot always point the finger at whomever from 20 years ago that said that awful thing about us which is why we are where we are now.

I believe that when we take our healing into our own hands, we take our power back. When we stop trying to throw everything at someone else for them to handle, we actually unburden ourselves. When we can recognize the choices we already have to see a different perspective, choose another thought, accept that what is, is what is, we are better able to move forward. Where do you have a say? Where could you?

When we berate ourselves, overeat, escape, binge watch, use substances, people please, lack boundaries (and more), these are all ways we leave ourselves.

This is an invitation to encourage you to come back home and meet those scared parts of yourself that you don’t want to meet. The parts of you that you have denied for a long time. I believe that this is the foundation of our mental health, our relationship with ourselves first and foremost.

Viktor Frankl, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust, said “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing- to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”

When we can hold ourselves with compassion, the way we would our best friend or a small child, we meet ourselves in a way that allows us to be the way we are. We allow our experience to unfold, to be with, to stay. This is the ultimate act of bravery and of self love.

So as glamorous as it is, I dare you to allow yourself have your full experience. The highs, lows, and mediocre parts- its all a part of being human. You are absolutely allowed to have your struggles. Just as much as you are allowed to have your joys, your inherent beauty, the celebration of the unique being that is you.

This blog post and website is not a substitute for therapy or therapeutic intervention. Please seek a qualified Counsellor or mental health professional for personalized therapy.