“I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It's so fuckin' heroic.”
I love this quote by George Carlin. It reminds me of what many of my clients are like: they keep trying, keep growing, even though they have every reason to let their circumstances limit and hinder them. That flower seeks the light of the sun. It is an innate need. We all are seeking something to warm us and help us grow. Not everyone has the strength, motivation, or skills to keep going. That’s okay, that’s called being human. Every person at one time or another needs help and support. Let me repeat that: EVERY person at some point in their lives needs help and support. If you have been trying to overcome a mood disorder, addiction, the urge to self-harm, and thoughts of suicide, and you just can’t seem to get better, I am here to help.
One skill I teach my clients is self-validation (which is a great counter to the inner critic we talked about last week). Being able to validate yourself does not mean you are going to exaggerate your pain or your strengths. It actually requires honesty by looking at the facts around your struggle. See your struggle as a story unfolding before you - like a t.v. show or news cast - reporting the facts as they unfold: like the flower in the quote. Imagine the flower is a conscious being. She can invalidate her experience by saying, “Look, I don’t even know where to grow. This is the wrong place for me. I’m so stupid.” If she uses the skills I teach her, she learns how to see the facts of her situation: 1. She is a flower, grown from a seed that had concrete put down over it. 2. She grew through the only opening that was available. 3. Someone saw her and was inspired. I would then have her say these things to herself.
If you struggle with self-invalidation, I offer groups that are designed to teach people not only how to validate themselves, but also how to deal with obstacles, handle conflicts with others and within, and focus on what they want for the long term, rather than sacrificing that for the short term relief. You will get my expertise in these areas, plus the support of others who are dealing with the same issues. It is time for you to figure out how to bloom, and I would love to be a part of that process.