Taking care of our inner emotional landscape is our responsibility and ain’t no one going to save us otherwise. That realization and the decision to commit to turning inward with care is intimidating.
I’m discovering it’s also SO FREEING and EXCITING.
I’ve been in somatic therapy for a year now and it’s a game-changer. Basically, it’s a form of therapy that focuses on what our body is telling us. Listening and moving through stored emotion so that we can release ourselves from the fight, freeze, fight cycle. Then we can think more clearly in all situations, even stressful ones, and more fully engage with our lives.
I’ve also been learning about my inner child: the angry child, the vulnerable child, then there’s the punitive adult – there’s a whole family of versions of our emotional lives, living inside of us.
Not literally, of course. But everything we as children have experienced, all the insecurities and hurts and joys still impact how we relate to the world today. And it’s now the responsibility of our fully capable healthy adult self to parent those younger versions of ourselves. Paving the way for us to relate to our lives in a more clear-headed way.
Why is something so clearly beneficial also kind of scary? Why is the prospect of caring for our emotional, physical, psychological, and mental health intimidating sometimes?
So many reasons…
- It’s ‘easier’ to just react from where we are at the moment
- Therapy can be expensive – This factor is a systemic crisis in my opinion. Some therapists have a sliding scale rate for people with lower incomes, and it’s worth asking to see if they do.
- It’s ‘easier’ to just have someone else take care of our emotional needs (friends, partners, family)
- We have so many available avenues to numb out instead (tv, drugs, alcohol)
- Mental health is still stigmatized in many communities and choosing to focus on it can make you feel judged
In spite of these many valid demotivators, if you haven’t already, I urge you to find the bravery and resourcefulness to embark on your mental health journey. It just might be the single greatest gift you could ever give yourself and those around you.
My relationship with the world and how I relate to other people has been shifting since starting this work. Because my relationship with myself is shifting.
I’m listening to Lillian, asking her what she wants to say, how she feels, and what’s going on inside. She is my most important, longest-lasting, and dedicated relationship – and I owe her all the love in the world.
I hope you’re loving YOU.
Happy New Year!!