We all have this wall around us. It is a very defined wall that protects us from harm. At times, it prevents us from opening our eyes to something we might benefit from, but don’t necessarily want to hear. Resistance within us is very thick and it gets even thicker as we move along in our daily lives. Our routines become redundant, predictable, and too comfortable until we become unknowingly complacent. We feel there are no other alternatives, and feelings of sadness, disappointment, and annoyance creep in. These emotions seem to stick around no matter our efforts to entertain ourselves—be it with friends and outings or any extracurricular activities. Many times alcohol, gambling, and other mood-altering substances take the place of healing, as a means to self-medicate—a means to escape the vicious cycle we have created.
When we finally reach rock bottom—which varies for each person—things can go one of two ways: seeking help or staying stuck. Even when reaching out for help, we’re still separated by that wall of resistance: the old, familiar ways of thinking. In order to begin breaking old patterns, we need to learn to listen, to allow the information to penetrate even though we may feel extremely uncomfortable (especially if it challenges our beliefs and comfort zones.) It is then, when we listen and process the information and perhaps attempt to allow different alternatives to seep in, that our resistance lowers. Seeing and thinking differently is an essential tool to resume life with a new vision and attitude.
Whether advice comes by request or unsolicited from friends, relatives, or a therapist, the best suggestion is often the one that makes you feel the most uncomfortable. It’s the one that will lead you to your destination of choice. Having short- or long-term goals is important, but the time frame in which they occur is not. It’s the route you take that makes a difference.
The route consists of your behavior, meaning the steps you take; not the old familiar actions, but the new actions that stimulate you, challenge you, and lead you in directions you haven’t yet traversed. So, in essence, we still carry the protective wall, but it’s more flexible, adjustable, and creative. At all times we are in full control of our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. All we are doing is choosing to make different choices, implement new behaviors, and allow new feelings to formulate and flow within us.done the work yourself, and you have not given up. In essence, therapy is about never giving up on your better self; thus it’s called self-growth!
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