Connection brings us into relationship, and being in relationship makes us feel part of something bigger than ourselves. In addition to relationships with people, we can also be in relationship with the world around us. The sky is literally the limit. I experience a sense of peace and contentment when I feel connected. Sometimes that connection might be with a person, or a pet, or a place. At other times it can be in relationship to nature, or the universe or anything that I feel a part of at that moment. We don’t have to have people around us to feel connection. Sometimes we can feel lonely around others, and content when alone. Loneliness is not the absence of people but the absence of connection and can often be at the root of depression, anxiety, or addiction.
When we feel empowered we feel strong and capable. That can look different depending on where we are in life or what our present circumstance is. Empowerment looks different for everyone and is very subjective. Sometimes just getting out of bed or taking a shower can feel like a victory. It can be baby steps. Whether you are a new parent, getting out of an abusive relationship, or starting a new company, we all need to feel a sense of accomplishment no matter how small. Unfortunately, many people are victims of systemic oppression and face real limitations to gaining any power but empowerment is not about feeling powerful. It is about agency; the feeling that we have some control and accountability regarding our own lives.
“I’m going to dance in all the galaxies. ” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Expressiveness is not just about being artistic, although that can be one aspect. As we grow up, even in the best of circumstances, we can become shut down creatively, or not allowed to express ourselves fully. Children are often silenced. That in itself isn’t necessarily going to create wounds or emotional scars as there are times when we need to adapt to our surroundings. It is when silencing is constant, when we are consistently put in a position where we are afraid to be our true selves and risk feeling vulnerable that it can be problematic. The good news is that no matter how old, or where we are in life, we can all learn to express ourselves. It may be through talking, or perhaps finding a creative outlet. I am dedicated to creating a safe, nurturing space to allow your true self to shine through, and to support your expression in positive ways.
Being open is not always easy. The world can be a scary, difficult place but if we close ourselves off, we also miss out on the beauty, joy, and wonderment that is all around us. Sometimes it is little things like a friendly encounter on the skytrain, or the laugh of toddler. other times it might be life changing, such as welcoming a new partner into our lives, or embarking on a new career. If one is a victim of trauma or violence, it may not even feel conceivable that he or she can ever be truly open again but by taking small steps, and allowing the time that is needed, even the most closed off people can learn to open their hearts again to possibility.
We are all resilient but unfortunately there are times when we have to find this out in unpleasant ways. Perhaps a parent who has been traumatized by their partner must find the inner strength to go on for the sake of their children. Or a burned out caregiver must continue to find the resources to continue looking after an ill parent. We often hear stories about people who have been through horrible things yet continue to survive, even thrive, and sometimes go on to make a difference in the world. As a therapist, it is important that I foster a secure sense of connection with my clients so that they can get in touch with their resiliency and strength and begin the healing process.
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