Many years ago Marie (not her real name) arrived in my office somewhat burned out, tired, mildly depressed and looking for help. Her story unfolded as one of absolute selfless generosity, of giving her time and energy to her husband, her children, her church, her kid's school, various local charity groups and her extended family. She was the one everyone turned to whenever a selfless soul was needed and she, following an imperative deeply ingrained from Childhood, always responded with an enthusiastic YES! The subtext of her story was that saying no or expressing any hesitation was selfish and unkind.
Marie's story is a common one: somewhere along the line, in her generosity, she lost herself. She became a shell of herself. It was her six-year-old grandchild who, with a hand on Marie's face, said to her, "Grandma, you look so tired. Who wore your happy out?" That was what prompted Marie to come to CenterLife Counseling for help.
Each New Year we make resolutions. These are commitments to change. In Marie's case some simple changes recommended to her by her therapist gave her permission to regulate her generous spirit and gain back her energy. She moved out of depression, and she gave herself permission to care for herself as much as she cared for others. She is today as generous as ever as well as have an ability to draw reasonable boundaries so that she can enjoy being that generous and give to herself the same care she offers others. That was, in fact, her resolution for that New Year.
There are some common sense guidelines that help us get from New Years resolutions to actually making change to balance our minds and center our lives.
+ Name a change that matters to you. (If it does not matter, you won't do it)
+ Choose small steps and focus on progress, not perfection. (Saves a lot of frustration)
+ Tell somebody important to you about your steps forward. (Accountability is a beautiful thing!)
+ Celebrate each of your small wins (The daily, small victories are how real progress is counted)
+ Look for an accompanist to you solo (A friend or a professional such as a therapist)
We see a lot of Maries at CenterLife Counseling. They make New Year's resolutions all year long! These are people whose lives have somehow become unbalanced and who just need a nudge and some simple tools to get back to being who they really want to be. They decide to get their "happy" back and to center their lives on what is really important to them. They show the courage we all wish we had to risk gaining new perspective on life. They are savvy enough to know that gainful insight and making change with a little help is much more successful than trying to do it alone.
New year brings lots of resolutions. What re-balancing or re-centering do you need to do as 2018 begins? Perhaps you focus is on your work situation, on a relationship that matters to you, on your health or even just your satisfaction with life in general. Whatever change you want to make for 2018, the only thing that matters is three things: take one small first step, keep turning up to take that step every day, and whatever you choose to do, don't do it alone. There is an abundance of research that tells us that making change alone is the hardest and least successful path to choose. Choose a companion and welcome your fellow traveler. Come on in to CenterLife Counseling to Center your Mind, Balance your Life.
Call CenterLife Counseling today to schedule an appointment. What re-balancing or re-centering do you need to do as 2018 begins?
Fill out our online form, email or call one of our locations:
7039 20th Avenue S
Centerville, MN 55038
Our dedicated staff of experienced professionals is here to work with you. We want you to feel comfortable and safe when you’re visiting with us, so we would like to introduce ourselves to you. As you consider selecting someone to schedule with, we encourage you to read through several bios to find the therapist who may be the best match for you.