In relationships, especially romantic ones, in the past I allowed myself to be treated so badly because I didn’t know I deserved any better. Through learning those lessons and loving myself, I am now in a place where every relationship in my life (romantic and otherwise) respects my boundaries when I need to assert them. This took time, and I lost people along the way, but I always knew that those who truly loved me and were meant to be a part of my life, would understand and respect my needs - and they have done.
Through my psychology studies, I have developed an understanding of the way the Western world views ‘mental health’. What I realise is that we know a lot about what can go wrong for us, and potential ways to treat such problems, but we don’t really know a lot about how to cultivate and nourish the strengths we each hold within us. Positive psychology is an emerging discipline that works to scientifically prove the benefits of some of the practices I have mentioned (meditation, gratitude, spirituality) and this is an area I am really excited to be involved with in the future.
I also am aware that having a solely Western understanding of anything is limiting. I am continually reading and learning in my own time about various holistic healing modalities that are championed by indigenous and Eastern cultures around the world. I am looking forward to integrating all of my understandings into my career.
I know that for my health and wellbeing it's important to nourish my body with good food and move my body through physical exercise. I believe the same amount of attention needs to be given to caring for my mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing as well.
I believe as humans we are body, mind, heart and soul wrapped up in one. Unique, amazing and brilliant, with painful experiences and blissful ones, yet we are here to experience it all.
Caring for myself on all of these levels means that I know I can handle any challenge I might face in this life. I have overcome more than I ever thought possible. It has given me strength and self-assurance I might not have developed had I not endured my struggles. These experiences are the fire in my belly that drive me forward in supporting others doing the same.
If you could send a note back to yourself when you needed the most help, what would you write?