Monday, September 5, 2011

Emotional Honesty: The Key to Healthy Relationships

The topic of relationships came up in a group last week, and it became obvious very quickly that this topic is very complex. After thinking about it in relation to planning my topics for the support group, I came to a conclusion.
Emotional Honesty is the key to any healthy relationship.
It is also the key to feeling peace and less fear in your daily life. This, at least, has been my experience.
What is emotional honesty? The meaning is pretty easy; carrying it out is the difficult task.
For myself, learning to be emotionally honest was an involved process. I had to challenge many fears, including the fear of being rejected, unloved, criticized, or WRONG.
But first I had to gain an awareness of my emotions, because I had hidden them and denied them for most of my life.
Ultimately, this goes back to changing the way you cope with life, emotional distress and challenges. Or rather, deciding to face these things instead of running away [in many ways].
Uncovering those deep emotions inside, along with the values that coincide with the thought processes, is probably the most complex, but also the most rewarding aspect of this.
The 'how' of this is unique to every person, but my professional advice is that no one does this without the guidance of a therapist.
Being able to be emotionally honest means that you don't have to tailor your comments or actions to the specific person you are with, or the situation you are in. YOU are YOU, and that never needs to change. It's about trusting the core of who you are, and not shrinking back from what you believe in; regardless of whether others agree.
Emotional honestly pertains to your relationship to yourself as well. Can you accept your imperfections and keep moving forward?
This is not about vanity or over-confidence. There is humility in being emotionally honest as well. Can you admit your mistakes and apologize without beating yourself up?
The opposite of emotional honesty is isolation, paranoia, manipulation and secrets that hold a great deal of pain.
Approaching relationships with an open mind, an open heart, and confidence that you can be YOU without compromising yourself will reap you many rewards.
Without the component of emotional honesty, no one benefits. I learned the hard way.
Without apology.....♥

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Every day is a New Beginning

Some may consider the title to be a bit 'idealistic', but this is how I have learned to live my life. Truly. There are always changes, challenges and frustrations that come with daily life. We cannot avoid them. I am grateful that I no longer feel the need to try to escape the daily ups and downs, and that I actually look forward to learning from those moments that force me to think [outside of the box]
The last four months have presented me with some exceptionally challenging and painful situations. I have had to accept that with the passing of time comes loss, and the resulting situations are painful. My Mother's short illness of seven weeks prior to her death has left me feeling a myriad of emotions.
I regret that I have learned as much if not more about my parents after their death than I did during the entire time that they were living.
As I move through these emotions, I am realizing that this 'ending' is not unlike a beginning.
The phases that come with the passing of time contain both endings and beginnings. I don't have to like the 'plan', or even understand it. What I have chosen to do is to keep moving forward.
I believe that there are opportunities for new beginnings for us all. I have found that with my recovery from an eating disorder, my eyes have been opened more fully.
Life is bigger, brighter and overall more full.
I am currently walking into new opportunities in every phase of my life. The Recovery Support Group is beginning a new session, and I am excited about the new format and topics!
The 'outreach' aspect of my job title continues to grow, and I am noticing a new perspective in my message. I no longer feel the need to define recovery [for myself], as I am simply living my life. The fact that I know what an eating disorder 'feels' like, and I have moved beyond that in all ways, is not my identity, but rather a chapter in my book.
The first meeting of the support group will focus on life goals, and how these relate to the development of personal identity.
Perhaps you would want to ask yourself, "How well do my life goals fit into my plan for recovery, and how well does my recovery fit with my life goals?"
Every day holds new beginnings. Are you keeping your eyes open to see them?
Without apology....♥