Hidden Talents

“It is easy to admire the gifts in others while negating our own.”

Now, more than ever before in the history of mankind is it easier to meet new people. Whether it is someone in our city we find on social media or reaching essentially half way across the globe, technology has made it virtually a snap to discover new people on a daily basis. Once in a while we even get to interact with notable people which a few short years ago we’d never dreamed possible.

It’s exciting to hear someone on the radio or watch them on the television only to have an opportunity to interact with them through one of the many online platforms. A person you’ve considered to have reached a level of success is now taking his or her own time to communicate with you can be a thrill for many.

Talented people lurk all around us. These may be people at work whose ambition or abilities we admire and wish we could duplicate. Perhaps there’s a particular skill you’ve been struggling to acquire and someone else picks it up as if it were second nature to them. If only certain things were easier for us to accomplish life would be a bit more pleasant.

I believe this is a common mindset for many and it’s understandable why. All of us do have individual skills we are born with. Many of those are connected to what it is we like or enjoy. However, because they’ve been part of us for so long, we tend to take them for granted and since we may feel there is nothing exceptional about us, those skills must not take extraordinary talent to achieve.

“If I can do it and I’m just a regular guy well then anybody should be able to do it”. This was a common theme for most of my life because my default thinking was to sell myself short. Believing I was something special would lead to false pride and arrogance so anything I did was rarely more than average.

The key to embracing our own talents is understanding the difference between pride and arrogance. We can be proud of ourselves without being self-important. There are many times we are proud of friends, our children, or our parents. That kind of pride is not conceited so why can’t we have that same pride in ourselves?

Conceit or haughtiness is when we place ourselves above everything else. This kind of egotism is what leads to strife and division. Self-confidence is crucial in many daily activities allowing us to reach many goals or successes.

When we do recognize our individual gifts, it behooves us now to be grateful and always remain thankful for them. Realize these gifts were given to you; not to exploit them and take advantage of others but to make the world a better place for your having been here.

This planet will be here long after we are gone and our abilities will either add to its betterment or promote its decline. It’s your choice.

My thanks to Paul Codling on Unsplash for the photo and I look forward to your comments.

Common steps in healing

Photo by Dana Leigh Cohen

“The road to healing has similar views but rarely shares the same path.”

Many of us have, at times, wished several of life’s challenges were a bit simpler or that their solutions would reveal themselves more easily. Yet, when some of those seemingly insurmountable tasks were faced and overcome, it instilled within us a feeling of tremendous joy and accomplishment. This is the conundrum humans have been facing since the dawn of our species.

One of those challenges which will forever be perceived as a difficult and nearly impossible struggle is emotional healing. But just as in any other triumph, the sense of joy, accomplishment, and pride when victorious is unforgettable and lifechanging.

I have had the privilege of helping and empowering many to work through their abuses and difficulties which ultimately ignites a transformative process and creates a completely different outlook on the future. Each one of them, however, experienced it in different ways. There were similarities but because we are all unique, so are our paths to healing.

Examining what those commonalities are may provide some insight for those currently in this journey but perhaps feel hindered or face a fork in the road and are not quite clear what the next step is.

The first commonality is that it’s rarely an easy task. Secondly, it’s painful because it involves recalling certain memories which quite frankly, most of us have been spending our lives trying to forget. It also requires a choice to begin that process which no doubt will be one of the best choices you will ever make.

While there may have been physical damage, the emotional abuse was – and remains – a mental issue. The psychological effects were greatly influenced by the way we thought about and continue to interpret those incidents. I am definitely not downplaying the severity of anyone’s abuse nor in any way implying the abused is at fault. Nonetheless, the emotional portion of the damage ended up in our heads because of our own thinking.

Another similarity is the way we responded to those devastating events. If you have ever told yourself that you probably deserved them or asked what you did to deserve it, you are not alone. I cannot recall any of my clients who did not do that. And as someone who also experienced that commonality, I will tell you with complete certainty that this way of thinking is the biggest cause of our emotional abuse.

Ironically, it’s also one of the simplest and most empowering struggles to overcome and renew our healing process. First of all, you NEVER did anything to deserve exploitation or cruelty. With that understanding, it becomes easier to move forward by first forgiving yourself for ever having those thoughts. Yes. It is that simple – which by the way, is another commonality we share in the healing process.

Confusion during our journey is another mutual occurrence but determination will help you through it. If you do have any questions about how you can become victorious over yours, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I want to thank Dana Cohen for the beautiful picture. Dana is a personal friend of mine and one of the most talented and creative people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. She is an interior designer, artist, and brand marketing specialist. With too many talents to list here, find out more about her and how you can work virtually with her, at dleighdesign.com.

A Healing Legacy

Photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash

“Changing the way things were would completely alter the person we are.”

For anyone – or for that matter anything – who has sustained an injury, healing is a crucial next step. In last week’s article (click here to read it), the question of how do we know healing is actually occurring, was discussed. The challenge is that sometimes the damage was so extreme, it can appear next to impossible for any healing to occur.

If only emotional wounds were as simple as: seeing a mental health professional, following a step-by-step procedure that was a surefire strategy for a cure, then returning to normal. If only!

It may not seem fair that some have endured such extreme abuse simply by being born who they were. I think about my circumstances and they can appear almost insignificant compared to what others have suffered. I was not brutally abused with unspeakable acts nor were there any physical scars left behind. But the one thing every abuse victim has in common is that none of these incidents can be undone.

Each of us has to find a way to begin the healing process and overcome those past struggles. I wholeheartedly believe it is possible for anyone in any circumstance. If we don’t, then they may ultimately cripple or immobilize us and eventually become an alibi for our failures or defeats.

I’ve wondered how different my life would have been had I not experienced some of the abuse. Perhaps I would have been more successful in business and been in a completely different career. But speculating will never change where I am in this moment. Those abuses, no matter how difficult they were, have made me the person I am today. Going through and overcoming them has no doubt elevated my passion for helping others far more than if they had never occurred.

Please remember this is my journey and in no way is it meant to be a directive about yours. However, yours can share the similar theme of making you the person you are today and creating a passion for life.

My healing was so invigorating that at times, I wonder why everyone who has experienced emotional healing doesn’t feel the same way. But I also realize that is just my own enthusiasm speaking.

Any type of abuse is inexcusable and should never happen. But I also don’t believe that one must suffer from it in order to thrive. When it unfortunately occurs, that does not indicate nor imply that only despair and anguish lie ahead. No matter how insurmountable these situations were, they can be transformed into a personal victory and a meaningful journey.

The healing process does not occur naturally. In fact, there are many distractions which stack the deck against us and cause it to seem impossible from ever happening. If you are perplexed or confused about your own process, please feel free to reach out to me. Helping others is my passion and I will do whatever I can to help.

My thanks to Timon Studler for the wonderful picture and I look forward to your comments.

Healing Time

Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

“The importance of healing is not forgotten with the passage of time.”

Healing our emotional wounds is a vital step in living a happy and fulfilling life. As discussed in last week’s article (click here to read it), healing can be suppressed by distractions. It’s already challenging enough because it doesn’t occur naturally as it does with cuts or abrasions to our skin. Sometimes these only require a quick dressing and the progress can be easily monitored with a brief glance.

Emotional recovery, however, is not quite as clear. There is no visual progress to validate if indeed it is happening. So how do we know whether or not we are improving much less experiencing any type of healing? What proof is there it is actually transpiring?

The indicators of emotional healing are basically all in our heads, figuratively speaking. It is how we are feeling about ourselves in that moment. Think of it as if it were a physical wound. As healing progresses, the scab gets smaller and the pain associated with the abrasion decreases. Eventually, it fades away along with any evidence it was ever there.

Recovering from past difficulties and abuses is similar in how those incidents make us feel when they are recalled. If there is little or no pain, that’s a good sign healing has occurred. What troubles some is that on one day we can feel great and the very next day may seem that we are back at square one.

Remember that sometimes while physical wounds heal, we may hinder the process by inadvertently reopening the wound. That doesn’t mean healing never happened, it simply means it will take longer and more vigilance is needed.

The same goes for emotional healing. Progress is not a continual and steady climb with no setbacks. It is nearly inevitable that there will be glitches in our journey. This is the exact moment when we need to believe more fully in ourselves. It is also remarkably beneficial to have others validate our progress which is why a good therapist or coach definitely helps.

When working with my clients, I frequently remind them of their progress and point out the ways they’ve improved. Often the temptation for us to deny any growth is great. That’s because much of the pain is based in our shame which is a self-reinforcing behavior. In many ways, shame thrives when we beat ourselves up and believe all kinds of terrible lies about ourselves.

The biggest difficulty with emotional healing is that there are no black and white answers. We can’t look into our psyche and see whether or not those wounds are getting better. Our self-esteem, which is extremely vital to this process, has been deprived or even stolen from us. It is almost as though life itself is trying to deny us this opportunity. But take heart. That could not be further from the truth.

I believe that we all can heal from anything in our past. Sometimes scars, just like physical ones, remain but they can also be reminders that our healing was real and we did an amazing job overcoming it. If you have any questions about your own healing, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. It has the potential to change your life.

My thanks to Thomas Kelly for the timely picture. Find out more about him by clicking here. I look forward to your comments.