The new year has begun, and with it new challenges and endeavors. Some of these are the normal, every day issues we all face; some of them more imposing but exciting none the less. Today, I’m pondering my own goals, challenges, and life endeavors. There are several options open for exploration, others are “must-do’s”, and some are how can this be improved on a daily basis. Sure–there are those new year goals: lose weight, eat healthier, get more exercise, etc. But what can I do on a personal level to change the mindset of monotony. We all have it…just the everyday doings. How do we change those to be more present, more enjoyable, more intriguing. To be more HERE. Even monotonous things have aspects of joy, newness, and positivism. We just have to reframe our thinking: aware, mindful, intentional.
Often times, I’m struck by the constant and overwhelming drone of defeating thoughts and feelings clients relay. And then I think, but this is what they have learned; either in their family system, their friends, the environment and our culture that breeds comparison. When do we take time to appreciate others and their talents. I have often thought out greatest strengths are also our deepest flaws, the yin and yang of our being. But so much anymore is focused on the dark, unrelenting negatives. Where are the positives. Where is our sense of finding good in all things. Where do we find ENCOURAGEMENT. Where do find acceptance and belonging. How can I impart a sense of compassion for self in others.
More than anything, I want others to be able to find the positive and human aspects of who they are, complete and whole, to recognize they are beautiful in their pain and their contentment. Ah, that we could find a way to be overcomes of our past, to live in the present, and expect in that moment, we can find peace.
So, It’s the end of a very long day of encouraging others, communication with colleagues and trying to feel somewhat productive. In getting home, I come across this article regarding the mental health of our youth and the big elephant in the room (I still need to locate the article to save). Working as a therapist for a small agency in a rural area is the most challenging work, but rewarding as well. The article spoke to my heart like no other, recognizing that so often the children I work with have no locus of control in their often troubled and chaotic environments. Oh that there were more options available. But this week, one of my coworkers has had to call CPS twice for the same sibling group in foster care for disclosed sexual abuse. Abhorrent are the responses from DCS that the children will continue to visit their family despite the abuse. But then another coworker tells me she completes an assessment for four other children living in a hotel infested with something, with supervision by the mother’s boyfriend–unrelated–while she is working, but that doesn’t warrant foster placement. When and where did the system begin to fail our most precious investment of our children. Days like today I want to shout at the top of lungs!! But, alas, I will continue to encourage the staff I have and promote self-care and hope, just hope…..that someday the seeds they are planting will begin to sprout—no thanks to others that cannot see right from wrong.
Many of us in our small mental health agency have stories to relay and tell. I do as well–from parenting to being a therapist, there is so much have I have yet to learn, but so much I have become aware of. This blog is only to provide insight for myself, and perhaps others, of the challenges we face personally, professionally, and in our communities. If any should happen upon these posts, perhaps you’ll find some humor, or even become enraged. My hope is that somehow, one might be enlightened to be the change they wish to see to themselves, to others, then in their world.