This is a continuation of a two part series on letting our guard down. Part I, which focused on letting our guard down in relationships, can be found by clicking here.
This post will be focused on how I was able to let my guard down when I started with a professional therapist and coach.
It may seem like a no brainer, to let our guard down when we work with a professional therapist or life coach, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Anyone who works with or has worked with a professional to help heal from their past, knows all too well how difficult it can be.
When I first realized it was time to stop trying to figure out my life on my own, and I began to seek out the assistance of a therapist, it was definitely stressful.
After all there’s a stigma surrounding people who see therapists. We all know it’s there, and getting past that is a big step in itself. Not worrying about what people will think is incredibly difficult.
Personally, I was somewhat relieved, and also a bit excited to have taken the step to reach out and connect with someone who could understand where I was coming from. I was very nervous though too, because I knew how much of a closed book I had been my whole life.
I put up walls to keep the hurt out, and now I was taking the initiative to start undoing all that I had worked so hard to build.
Little did I know how much my life would change in such a short period of time, relatively speaking, once I began lowering the drawbridge to the castle that protected my inner self. Letting in a professional seemed logical enough, but I wouldn’t call it easy.
The only prerequisite that you need to have in order to get started is simply this:
Enter with an open mind, or at least keep the notion available that you may be able to open up in time.
If you walk into an office with the idea that they aren’t going to be able to understand you or help you, then why bother going in the first place? All you are doing is wasting your time and money.
I knew I was in a fragile, state..all but completely broken to be honest.
So keeping an open mind that someone could help me was a safe risk in my estimation. After all, what I was doing to help myself clearly was not working so far.
I was at the end of my rope. I was tired of trying to just survive, continuing to live in the past, feel sorry for myself, and live each day with little hope of a brighter tomorrow.
I’m not suggesting that everyone has the ability to walk into a therapists office and just be an open book, spilling your story with ease right out of the gate. There’s nothing wrong with being cautious; take time to develop a rapport and comfort level with the person you are working with.
Remember, there is never a timetable on healing.
Each of us is different. We all have different personalities, backgrounds, cultures, family lives, and of course our past trauma, the reason we are seeking help, is unique.
Not unique in that we are the only person to have ever suffered some type of abuse, but unique in that how our story unfolded and how we arrived to the point we are at now.
I was sexually abused by a teenager in my neighborhood, I was invalidated by my mother and had little emotional support, and I was bullied in school. Add in to that 2 failed marriages, and you can see where I was in desperate need of help.
The first time I said those words out loud in J’s office, and realized that I was a survivor, it was a lightbulb moment. A realization that I was not alone. That day opened up a whole new world of healing for me.
I’ll never forget that session; J sent me this meme to my phone later that evening, and I nearly lost it in an emotional overload!
Yes, it took time to open up once I began to work with her. She had to pry feelings out of me nearly every session; reassuring me that I was safe and that she would understand and validate me.
After all, old feelings and survival tactics die hard. We don’t heal overnight.
I’m here to validate you, encourage you, and let you know that when you are ready to take that step and reach out for the help of a professional; it can be life changing experience.
If you let it be.
That’s the key. Just enter in with the mindset that it’s OK to be where you are now, and that you are strong and amazing for having the courage to acknowledge you need help.
Will it be easy? Not a chance! It’s going to be unbelievably difficult to deal with the memories and emotions that have been affecting your life for so long.
But what’s the alternative; spending another day in the same state you are now?
- Not being able to fully embrace what your life can truly be like.
- Being envious of others who are living life the way you wish you could.
- Unable to embrace the fact that you can love yourself and realize you are worth feeling good.
- Waking up each morning, dreading what the day has in store and then going to bed at night wishing something would change.
I’m not suggesting that working with a professional solves every single problem and that you will find the right one on the first try either.
But again, and I can’t stress this enough…if you are as tired as I was, of being depressed, emotionally drained, and with little to look forward too, then why not take a chance?
I let my guard down, and looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
This world is full of caring, compassionate, people…both professionals and everyday survivors.
Reach out and grab the helping hands of those that care and want to see you Survive, Thrive, and Conquer your past, and to have the life you deserve.
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