If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame cannot survive. –Brené Brown
When I contemplate my life’s journey so far, I am often tempted to focus on my achievements and positive experiences. I think of the hard work I put in to graduate top of my high school and college classes. I think of getting national certifications in psychology and obtaining awards and licenses. Yet these accomplishments only paint part of the picture of my life’s journey. Like everyone else, I have had my share of hardships and obstacles that I had to overcome to be the person I am now.
As the child of an alcoholic parent, I had to confront how addiction affected my upbringing and its consequences on my adult life. Having always had an adventurous spirit, I moved to the other side of the world to take a job in a country I had never visited before. While excited to learn about a new culture and way of life, I also experienced homesickness and longed for the comfort of my family and friends back in the U.S. My loneliness became even more devastating after losing my mother, who passed away in front of me while visiting me abroad. These poignant moments in my life forced me to contemplate both who I was and who I want to be. I had to put in the hard work of treating my pain, loneliness, and confusion to come to an understanding of myself and where I wanted to go in the next phase of my life’s journey.
I share my life’s challenges and insights to show that I understand what it is like to face obstacles that seem insurmountable. As a therapist, my goal is to help my clients through moments of change or transition and guide then along their own journeys to finding peace and contentment. While none of us can prevent events, people, or circumstances from affecting or changing us, together we can boldly and courageously confront life’s challenges and stand firm in loving ourselves in the process.