Letting Go of What You Can’t Change.

Author Jonathan Morris once wrote, “Letting go of things that really do need fixing can feel like injustice, irresponsibility, or indifference on our part.” I would imagine some of you can relate. It’s natural to want to do something about things that feel out of our control. When we are faced with situations in life where we are playing tug-of-war with ourselves or something we just can’t fix, we often find ourselves pushing and pulling wanting to perfect the circumstance or make it right. We want “all things to be right with the world.” But, what we often find is the harder and harder we push back or try to make things perfect or right, the more things seem to fly out of control anyways. And it can be a humbling moment when we just have to relinquish control and let the chips fall where they may.

One of the happiest moments in life is when we find the strength and courage to let go of what we cannot change. Life is a series of events and situations that we don’t have power or control over and when we realize this, there can be so much freedom in doing nothing. The discomfort we experience initially in opening our hands and letting go may mean we could experience a little more peace. It’s not an easy task to accept the things we cannot change…but I recommend it as a regular practice. It requires a cognitive shift, changing the way we perceive and react to situations, as well as loosening our grip on what we can and cannot change. When we let go of those things we can’t control, you’ll be amazed at what you can refocus your energy on.

Healing our Parent Wounds

It is extremely important to observe, become aware, and understand how our parents impacted our brain during the developmental years. It is also important to feel our feelings related to what we needed and didn’t get emotionally from our parents. It is equally important to get to a point where we stop blaming our parents and take responsibility for our lives, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

Validating our feelings about our childhood and experiencing rightful anger at our parents are both important steps in the healing process. But we can’t stop there. We must get beyond the anger at our parents (this does mean “let it go” or simply “move on” or even “forgiveness). This means we try to find value in understanding our parents, their wounds, and look at ways we can prevent similar patterns in our own lives. We look for ways we can grow and not become trapped in repetitive relationship cycles in the next generation. If we continue to blame our parents and carry anger, it not only impacts our relationship with our parent(s), but it might affect our relationships with our intimate partners or our children.

When we take responsibility for our own lives and make a decision to break the cycle of family trauma, we foster a healthy and whole future for our own families. As we develop more compassion for our parents, it teaches us to be more compassionate individuals towards our partners, our friends, and co-workers as well. We begin to see others’ frailties and recognize their broken attempts to care for us, and we learn to love more fully and be more open to healing in our relationships. This can be one of the hardest tasks of our lives to accomplish – and it may require professional help – letting go of blame for our parents. But it can also be freeing at the same time.

Worthy of Love.

Every human being, regardless of race, gender, age, or class is worthy of love.

You deserve to feel valued and respected.
You deserve to be treated well by others.
You deserve to be happy.
You deserve to have your needs met.
You are worth investing time and energy into.
You are capable of great things.
Your feelings are important.
You have power and wisdom inside of you.
What you want matters.

And all this is still true, even if you make mistakes. Even if you are not perfect.

As a therapist and life coach, I often sit with some of the most put-together, successful, talented, and intelligent individuals in the world who still sometimes struggle to feel like they are valuable and worthy of being loved. Many of them run multi-million dollar businesses, travel the world, parent wonderful families and yet still feel a huge disconnect in their soul.

The world can get us down and leave us feeling a bit bruised along the journey. But decide today: You are valuable and worthy of love and respect. You have something unique to offer the world. Never forget it.

Suicide Awareness Month.

September is National Suicide Awareness Month. Nearly 45,000 Americans die by suicide every year. Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for people 18-65 and for every death by suicide, there are over 22 suicide attempts.

*You have what it takes to begin again*

Suicide can be prevented. And we can all learn the warning signs and signals and reach out to those who may need our support. Seek help if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the signs described below.

–  Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
– Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
– Acting anxious, agitated or reckless
– Withdrawing from family and friends or feeling isolated
–  Talking about being a burden to others
– Sleeping too little or too much
– Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
– Displaying extreme mood swings
–  Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
– Someone talking about wanting to die or kill oneself

Learn more at Save.org

A gift to yourself.

When you have the ability to self-regulate your emotions and thoughts, when you can press pause on disruptive impulses and stories in your mind and think before you react, this is such a gift you give to yourself. It doesn’t happen overnight. It can take years of hard work to retrain your brain. But you learn to pick yourself up after disappointment and act in a way consistent with your deepest held values.

This is such an important skill. This kind of emotional maturity can bring you so much joy in your relationships and social connections. You will be able to face emotional, social, and cognitive threats with more patience and thoughtfulness. I always say “press pause on the stories you are telling yourself.” And this really is that ability. Pressing the pause button between the feeling or emotion and the action or reaction we take – taking time to think things through, make a plan, wait patiently to understand the emotion and where it comes from. Did something trigger me? Why might I be experiencing this? Does it remind me of something where I have been hurt or experienced pain before? Is this feeling in proportion to the situation at hand or out of proportion to the circumstances before me?

This ability to control our thoughts and self-regulate our emotions will carry us through life.