YOUR PROBLEMS AREN'T ALL IN YOUR HEAD

I chaperoned a high school girl's empowerment workshop today & I just had some feelings
  1. So I've heard A LOT of motivational speakers. All with some variation of:
  2. Always saying you can do it!!!
  3. It's all inside you!!
    Just change your mindset!!
  4. There's nothing you can't overcome!!
  5. This comes from a great place
    I know people can get bogged down & negative & well-meaning people can try to combat that
  6. It also probably has to do with where I live
    So I'm from the US, where culture at large is still very "PULL YOURSELF UP BY YOUR BOOTSTRAPS". Which can be very good, but also not always possible &/or helpful
  7. Sufficient to say this kind of message is out there
    I mean have you seen a YouTube video recently?
  8. & it comes out in a lot of ways
    "You got this girl!", "Chin up, buttercup", "At least you didn't get murdered by the ghost of John Wilkes Booth"
  9. As the result of many school assemblies & after school activities, I heard this about every way possible
  10. Which gave me a fun complex
    This list isn't about me so I'll give you the short version: my sister struggles with anxiety & depression & had some behavioral issues + parents who came from families where mental illness was very covered up & NOT dealt with + a lack of resources for the challenge of raising a child with emotional difficulties = I was praised for being the easy child / didn't get a ton of attention from the parents
  11. Because I just wasn't looking at the situation in the right way! I should be happy! I shouldn't need anything or anybody else!
    For me personally, this really fed into my own idea that if I was asking for attention, I was doing something wrong. I was the world's most self sufficient child.
  12. For me, this led to a cycle of self-invalidation
    Upsetting thing happens ➡️ I just need to have a better attitude ➡️ why can't I just get over this? ➡️ I am angry at myself for feeling things 🔁
  13. When you are trying to go from bad feeling to good attitude instantly you are missing on some SERIOUS growth
  14. Take time to sit with your emotions & ask yourself why something caused a certain reaction in you
    We all have our shit. But we can't take ownership of it & take steps to become healthier emotionally if we pretend like it isn't there
  15. If you just keep trying to ignore anything uncomfortable for the silver lining you'll never get to the core of it
  16. So, for anyone who needs it today:
  17. 🌟Your feelings are valid!
  18. 🌟You don't need the responsibility of putting a good spin on everything all of the time!
  19. 🌟Sometimes things just suck!
    This doesn't mean they will always suck or that you have no agency in the situation, but you do have the right to feel shitty about shitty things
  20. 🌟And you can solve your problems!
    Not always in the way you want, not always right away, not always by yourself
  21. & a gentle reminder for the next time someone you love talks to you about their problems:
  22. 💕Be present
    Never underestimate the power of eye contact & actually listening
  23. 💕Don't going into fixing mode
    If you can help, that's awesome! But don't have that be the first thing out of your mouth. If the solution seems super obvious to you, you're probably oversimplifying it. Unless someone is directly asking you for advice or help, listening is a far more compassionate response.
  24. 💕Don't say "At least"
    Better things to try out: "I'm sorry you're going through that", "That sounds really difficult for you", "I'm sorry that you feel so aggravated", "Shit, that must suck"
  25. 💕Remember everyone's problems are very real to them
    Okay so you really don't think Stacy was actually rude to Steve at work today. If you let Steve know that it you recognize that he feels upset & that must be upsetting, are you condoning his thoughts? Nope! You're just letting Steve know you get it. Now Steve doesn't have to get defensive & maybe you can talk about how Stacy is from New England, so maybe that's a reason she acts stand offish?
  26. We're all trying our best. We all want to improve.
  27. Be kind with yourself & others 💕
  28. **END OF RANT**