Saying hello

Today was a talk therapy session that focused on the issues I’ve been dealing with recently with self-identity. We discussed how to help me handle the fact that while I have been validated lately concerning my role in this thing we call life, I’m still reluctant to give myself the title that has been bestowed upon me.

Leader.

Perhaps I should call it what it really is: Reluctant leader. Society teaches women that they should be soft, gentle, and quiet. Society likes to remind women that they are nurturers and should behave as such. Society tells us that a man will never be interested in us if we can command a room, or get shit done. That is and has been the way of it.

If, heavens forbid, you do strike out and speak up, or talk loudly, or divert from the expected path of a woman, you are deemed scary words like, ‘bitch,’ and, ‘spinster,’ and, ‘undesirable.’ You are looked down on by other women because you are the inherent threat: you command attention and women should be seen not heard.

I always fought my natural inclination for the reasons above. I honestly had myself convinced I was some demon-like creature from the Black Lagoon that didn’t deserve to be treated like a lady, or told I was beautiful. Clearly, the mind has been trained, and that’s why learning what my triggers represented would help me flip the script to learning how to cope productively and seeing myself in a shiny new light.

There’s a catch; there’s always a catch.

It’s easier said than done when it comes to retraining your brain, yes? I could sit here all day and spew a great deal of information that I have learned across my education on mental health counseling, but who does that help? Not me if I can’t figure out a way to put it to good use. The question that was answered today was that I needed to start logging my triggers, and how I chose to cope in that situation.

Allow me to introduce Minerva …

Minerva, as you can see, is a weence cantankerous and I’ve deemed her my NOPE llama, and thus the keeper of my new bullet journal that I will be documenting my triggers and my coping of said trigger. This is an attempt for me to hold myself accountable for the actions I’m literally taking against myself. Self-awareness is the only viable option to allowing myself to see what’s going on in my head, and how I am reacting, so that I can correct the behavior and be more at peace with who I am.

A woman who has been given the gift of natural born leader walks a line that is divided between two types of people: those who hate her for what she cannot control and those who hate her because they cannot control her.

Christina Terrano

There are no two ways around the reaction a woman who is able to lead will receive. You either love her for who she is and what she can do, or you hate her because she poses as the ultimate threat. Until recently I hadn’t given much credit to the fact that I am fully aware there are people in this world who hate me for being who they couldn’t. I understand the feeling of resentment. I always knew it was present with some people, and I have to stop letting that fact make me feel inferior.

While I can approach all situations with humility, and I can attempt to take my place as a moderator, I cannot in good conscience keep pushing myself down when all I want to do is rise up. I have to come to terms with reconciling who am I as a person, and how that’s going to help me become the best Crisis Counselor I can possibly be. I will be doing no one any good if I can’t stand up, step out and advocate for my clients. The only way I can do that, though, is by embracing my personality and working to make sure I’m not missing any steps.

This week, I was tested. I was put into a situation that I felt I needed to try and talk out. I put so much effort into trying to make sense of how others were behaving that I forgot that the only part of the situation that I can control is my own reaction. Minerva, and the opportunity to jot down my triggers for the situation, then seeing that I used coping mechanisms that were toxic, helped me realize that I was getting nothing out of the arrangement. I was not seeing any progress, I was not being heard, I was not being respected, and I was not trying to play any games. I realized that I was putting my own expectations onto those who did not have the same set of values that I do, and when I saw it for what it was, I realized the best course of action was just to take a few steps away and focus on the mission at hand. It’s second nature for me to project my core beliefs on others in the hopes that they will see the situation from my perspective and care about things the same way I do, but I need to realize that is wrong. I need to come to terms with the simple fact that I am passionate, I am driven, I am capable, and I’m impatient because of all these characteristics, and if others are not on the same page as I am, then I need to remove myself from the situation. There is no positive outcome when I have high expectations and everyone around me does not mirror that. This, I need to learn.

I’m trying to be better. I’m trying to realize that while I see the world in a kaleidoscope of possibility, organization, and good intentions, I am undoubtedly going to come into contact with more people who do not have my view of the world. I have this view because I am actively trying to be better. I can’t, however, forget that I’m also human, and I have a deep well of feelings and emotions that I am still coming to terms with. I have to be good to myself and remember that I have conditioned myself in a way that may come across as bossy or abrasive to others, but really is just me feeling confident and knowing that I am capable of handling situations. I want to help, I want to be there, I want to be an advocate, and see people flourish. The best way for me to do that is to let them be who they are, and even if I don’t see eye-to-eye with them on the topics or the issues, I have to remember that I cannot change them, I can only adapt my reaction and hope that at the end of the day I’ve made something resembling a good choice and won’t stay up worrying I made the wrong one.

Be good to yourself, and to others ❤

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