Monday, February 2, 2015

Dealing with the E word

I grew up in a loving, active home with lots of friends, culturally-engaging vacations, and healthy eating habits (who knew at the time that Kids Cuisine was so bad?). I did well in school and went to a good university. My parents taught my brother and me how to be kind, spiritual, and productive people in the world. I honestly couldn't have pinpointed one event that would have left me emotionally scarred, for any reason. 

But, I still have had emotional "work" (or sorting-out) to do. Whether it be learning how to resolve conflict in a healthy way, facing fears, getting rid of bitterness, mourning, processing life events, forgiving, or loving better - we all have work to do. Even if you don’t think you do – you do.

And you should do the work now. Yes, starting today.

Whether you are 20, 30, or 50; single, married, or with kids; content with your life or not – do the work now to be able to process and grow in your emotional life. You will be a better – whatever you are – because of it.

I have been seeing a counselor on and off for about a year and a half (and I love it!). I started going because I became mildly depressed at a particular point in life. I wasn’t at a stage where I needed medication; I was looking for just a couple conversations to help me identify a problem(s) and then move on. What I unearthed, however, were a wealth of tools and a richness in life (as well as, a few un-dealt-with emotions) that were previously and completely unknown to me. After a few months, I was a firm believer in the power of emotional processing and was in a healthier place all around. 

I started back up a few months ago (going to counseling), needing no convincing of the good it would do me. But regardless of my eagerness, continuing to build an emotionally healthy life is still really hard work. And painful work. There have been moments where I have thought, “I don’t want to do this. I want to just stay right where I am and only see and experience the things that make me feel good" – even though I know that long term, they won’t mask the unresolved issues.

But that benefits no one; least of all, me.

I recently read somewhere that the grass is greener on the other side, because the other side is watered more. And then it all made more sense than ever before…well, maybe not more sense, but I could once again welcome the work and embrace growing pains that await me. 

Doing the work  - whether it be through counseling, books, groups, or self-assessment and decision making – to be emotionally healthy and productive, in my humble experience, will help create the life you want. So, since it’s still the beginning of the 2015, and as long as there is another day coming tomorrow, you have the opportunity to make it better. Do yourself and those around you a favor and do your emotional work now. Your life will be far richer because of it. 

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