We All Need To Practice Emotional First Aid

istock0000179371As a mental health professional, I have found myself spending a lot of time trying to convince people that they need to take care of themselves mentally and emotionally. Meaning, I run into people who are working two jobs, taking care of their family and everyone else around them, but are letting themselves go mentally and are getting sicker and sicker over time.

Or, I meet someone who is obviously not dealing with various issues in their lives, probably hoping that ignoring them will make them go away, but all the while they are growing emotionally unhealthy.

It reminds me of when a parent would bring a child in to see me for therapy and it would become apparent pretty quickly that it’s the parent that needs therapy, not the the child. Many times the parent would like at me as if I was crazy. They couldn’t see that their own neurotic behavior, substance abuse or even past childhood issues are creating the “problem” they are prescribing to their child.

It’s easy to tell when someone is physically not doing well, but it’s not always easy to tell when someone isn’t mentally doing well, especially when it comes to everyday things like anxiety, depression and self-esteem. Things we all deal with from time to time.

I have a sister who at one point was working a very demanding job, raising a challenging teenager on her own,  volunteering her sparse free time to multiple organizations and if that wasn’t enough, she was trying to help every friend that called and needed something from her.

On the outside she looked ambitious, energetic, like a true type A-personality. On the inside she was feeling overwhelmed, flustered and fragile.

One night, while having dinner with our family which should have been relaxing, seemingly out of the blue she had what some would call a nervous breakdown. She started crying, hyperventilating and felt as though she was going to lose control of her mind. I could look at her and tell she was having a classic panic attack, but she was too far gone to hear me and was convinced she needed medical attention.

Soon afterwards she was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and was told to cut back on the million and one things she did in her day to day life to take care of other people and to start taking care of her own mental health, something many of us don’t do enough of.

Sometimes I even catch myself too caught up in work, life and everything else and before I realize it I am dealing with some type of anxiety, insecurity or dysthmia. I have to slow down, stop myself and figure out a) where is it coming from and b) how do I take care of it. Often times for me the solution is simple awareness and acknowledgement that something is bothering me. Other times it takes journaling, reading something inspirational or processing my feelings with someone I trust. I’m usually that person for everyone, but sometimes I need someone to be that person for me.

It doesn’t always have to be something major and it doesn’t always take a therapist, but sometimes it does. Sometimes it’s simple mindfulness, meditation, or getting out and having some fun, but many of us have no real idea of what it means to administer emotional first aid to ourselves which is why I included this Ted Talk by Guy Winch: Why We All Need To Practice Emotional First Aid

Emotional Vampires: How To Spot Them And How To Deal With Them

ed6568492c7ad5b402e59e8e9a09fe20-d55q1a1I am personally very sensitive to other peoples energy. Meaning, if I am in a room where everyone is sad, I can feel that sadness and even myself start to become sad. The same is true if the energy and emotion are happy or angry. I often get taken out of my element when I get around someone whose energy is different than mine. Meaning, I can come home happy and immediately become down if my partner is down because she had a bad day. It’s something that is my personal challenge to work on, but many of us are like that.

We realize that while some people are very positive and they often help improve our mood and energy, others are just the opposite, they are very negative and suck us dry of any happiness, positivity, peace and joy. A popular term for these type of individuals today is emotional vampires.  Some emotional vampires we know right away because they immediately drain us of emotional and physical energy as soon as they come around. Others are much more discreet and make remarks that leave us feeling bad and doubtful about ourselves such as  “You’re just not as smart as your brother” or “You’re always taking things personal”.

There are different types of emotional vampires and here I’ll list them and give you some tips on how to deal with each type you may encounter.

The Narcissistic Vampire

This vampire is all about themselves and everything is always about them. They are conceited, grandiose, entitled, want all the attention and admiration and believe that they are ultra-important. They lack empathy and have a very short fuse when it comes to giving love to others. Even when they do show favor to others, they will quickly withdraw it if things aren’t done their way, then they become very hurtful and punishing.

One way to combat this type of vampire is by keeping things in perspective by realizing that these type of people are very limited emotionally. If you expect more from them, you will just be disappointed over and over again. Falling in love with them is just setting you up for heart ache because they do not know how to be selfless or love unconditionally. If you depend on them for your self-worth you will only be crushed.

If you must deal with this type of person, the best way to handle them is by showing them how something will be in their best benefit. They are very selfish people and are happiest when they believe they are benefiting the most out of a situation.  This type of person is in my opinion the second most draining.

The Victim Vampire

This type of vampire is always crying “poor me”. They hate to take responsibility for their own actions. They believe that everything and everyone is against them which they believe is why they are unhappy. They fail to see, or want to see, their role in causing their own unhappiness. They will blame everything and everyone but themselves. These type of  vampires are most draining when you try to help them, but never can.

For this type of vampire you have to set limits and boundaries for self-care. Tell them you can only listen for a few minutes because you are busy, otherwise they will drain you quickly.

The Controlling Vampire

This vampire is always trying to control others by telling them now only what they should do, but also how they should feel. The way they do this is sometimes obvious, other times it’s less obvious because they try to control you by invalidating your emotions if they don’t believe you should feel that way. These are the type of people who always know what’s best for you and don’t have a problem telling you. In the end you end up not feeling good about yourself, feeling demeaned and belittled.

With this vampire you have to be assertive and confident. Pick your battles wisely with them and don’t try to control or “fix” them, that will only set them off. Be assertive on the things that matter and let some of the smaller things go.

The Splitter or Borderline Personality Vampire

Dealing with someone who has borderline personality disorder in itself is a taunting task. These type of vampires are always in black and white relationships, there is no gray areas. You are either good or bad therefore the relationship you will have with them will always be love and hate relationship. One day they worship you, but do something wrong and the next day you are totally worthless. They are very emotionally damaged people and often feel numb unless they are angry, and that’s when they feel alive. These type of vampire will keep you on a continuous emotional roller-coaster which is not only emotionally draining, but they can make you feel like you’re going to lose  your mind trying to deal with them and walking on eggshells to avoid conflict.

With these type of vampire you have to not allow them to suck you in and get as angry and upset as they are. You have to protect your emotions, stay calm, don’t over-react when they come looking for a fight. Believe it or not, these vampires respond best to structure and knowing where the limits are. If they start to get angry and out of control, tell them that you are going to walk away until they calm down. They won’t like it, but in the end this type of response is best for you and them. They will come to know their limits. They are also good at pitting people against each other and dividing friendships and families which is why it’s also important to not take sides when one tries to pit you against others, especially family and friends. These people in my opinion are the most draining because of their unpredictable, yet predictable nature.

We all know some emotional vampires and to be emotionally free, we have to learn how to deal with them.

For more information on emotional vampires check out “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life.” by Dr. Judith Orloff and “Emotional Vampires: Dealing With People Who Drain You Dry.” by Dr. Albert Bernstein

Keeping Your Personal Power

1409846027000-186534921The other day I was listening to Joel Osteen and he was talking about not giving up your power. It reminded me of a group lesson I used to teach my high school students a couple of years ago about not giving their power away. In this sense, many of the high school kids I was working with were labeled “troubled kids”, and while many of them had various problems, one main issue they had was allowing other people to push their buttons, causing them to react and get into trouble over and over again. They were allowing other students in essence to control them.

What exactly does it mean to not give your power away?

It means to not allow other people or even events that happen throughout the day, to steal your joy, your positivity, your happiness. It also means to not allow other people to control your emotions or cause you to act out.

It’s really easy in life to be reactive. We could be having a good day and all it takes is for someone to  make a rude remark or throw some other negative event into our day and then we are no longer having a good day. We are no longer happy and smiling, but instead we are fixated on that one negative event. We have let someone or something take our power away. Our power to be happy, our power to be the master of our emotions, actions and therefore consequences.

Many of us give our power away all the time without even realizing it. We think something or someone else made us mad, sad or ruined our day without realizing that we gave them the power to do so. Our emotions can be so overpowering that we don’t realize the thoughts that actually caused us to have those negative feelings and it’s those thoughts that we have power over if not anything else.

Our thoughts are one of the first places most of us give our power away.

We have negative self-talk that many of us just except as being true when in reality, it’s often just garbage. We tell ourselves we’re not good enough, we’re too ugly, too fat, weren’t born with the right genes, we’ll never be happy… the list can go on and on. First of all, if you believe all the negative self-talk, they tend to come true and become self-fulfilling prophecies. Second, they make us feel like crap and rob us of our natural power to feel good and be awesome people. Third and perhaps most importantly, they usually aren’t true. We have to challenge those negative thoughts instead of just accepting them. When you catch yourself having negative self-talk, ask yourself is it true? How do I know it is true? Negative thoughts and negative self-talk will do nothing but rob you of your power to control your life and have the life you want and deserve.

Another way we give away our power is through our actions or lack of actions.

Sometimes we are too afraid of making a decision, too afraid of change.  We don’t set goals. We sabotage ourselves. Sometimes we are waiting for something or someone instead of going out and doing it ourselves. I used to have a friend who was very educated, but he had trouble finding a job because he was always waiting for someone (usually family and friends) to find a job for him. He wanted them to find a place that was hiring, find out about the job, sometimes even get him the application. Needless to say he was unemployed for a very long time because he was waiting on someone else to do the things he could do for himself. He was giving away his power to be employed.

Lastly, perception is a major way many of us give away our power.

We give away our power by the way we look at things and perceive the world.  Many people see themselves as victims and that things are always done to them, that other people are in control of their lives, holding them back, causing their problems. If you perceive the world in this way then you are giving away your power and not taking personal responsibility for your life. Many people don’t understand that we choose how we perceive the world and we can look at it from different angles and viewpoints. Many of us have a default way that we perceive the world, but if that default way is holding us back and robbing us of our personal power, then we need to try a different perspective.

Take for example, if I go for a job interview and I don’t get the job, my default perspective might be “The guy interviewing me just didn’t like me. If I were a woman he would have probably hired me.” That’s giving away my power and making me feel like crap. I can change that perspective to something good and say, “I didn’t get the job, but at least I got an interview and I did my best, next time I’m sure I’ll get the job.” Or it could be a little more indifferent such as, “I didn’t get the job, guess it wasn’t meant for me. I’ll keep applying for other positions.”

The outcome doesn’t change. I didn’t get the job. However, my perspective changed and therefore how I felt about it changed from crappy, to positive, to indifferent. When I gave away my power with a negative perspective I felt worst then when I kept my power with good or indifferent perspectives.

There’s a saying that says, if you can’t change something then change the way you think about it. I have subscribed to that philosophy for a long time and trust me when I say it’s helped me stay positive and stay in control of my thoughts, feelings and actions.

When we give our power away we are allowing other people, events, circumstances, etc. to control how we feel and react. We are the captain of our ships and therefore are more control of our lives than we sometimes realize.  When we take our personal power back we get out of the passenger seat and back in the drivers seat of our lives.

Helping Your Child Prepare For Back-To-School

Photo-Contest-Best-Back-to-School-Moment-mdnIt’s that time of the year again where summer is winding down and both kids and parents are either anxiously or excitedly getting ready for another school year.

Some Children will be going to school for the first time, others to a new school or riding the school bus for the first time. No matter how you look at it, for parents and children, back-to-school can be a stressful time of year.

Many parents while trying to balance work, a family and even preparing for back-to-school, often overlook their children’s anxieties about heading back to school. Without realizing it, they may be setting their kids up for emotional and behavioral failure.

It’s important that parents work with their children to build emotional resilience and help them manage their emotions in order to keep them psychological healthy and in the long run, help the parents be less stressed as well.

Children are incredibly resilient and  capable of dealing with change, often more so than adults, but it’s important that parents provide an environment that fosters communication and sharing of thoughts and feelings about returning to school. Establishing this type of environment where sharing thoughts and feelings about school are encourage will also foster a healthier relationship overall between parent and child.

There are many things you can do to help prepare your child emotionally and psychologically for returning to school. The American Psychological Association (APA) offers the following tips:

  1. Practice the first day of school routine: Getting into a sleep routine before the first week of school will aide in easing the shock of waking up early. Organizing things at home—backpack, binder, lunchbox or cafeteria money—will help make the first morning go smoothly. Having healthy, yet kid-friendly lunches will help keep them energized throughout the day. Also, walking through the building and visiting your child’s locker and classroom will help ease anxiety of the unknown.
  2. Get to know your neighbors: If your child is starting a new school, walk around your block and get to know the neighborhood children. Try and set up a play date, or, for an older child, find out where neighborhood kids might go to safely hang out, like the community pool, recreation center or park.
  3. Talk to your child: Asking your children about their fears or worries about going back to school will help them share their burden. Inquire as to what they liked about their previous school or grade and see how those positives can be incorporated into their new experience.
  4. Empathize with your children: Change can be difficult, but also exciting. Let your children know that you are aware of what they’re going through and that you will be there to help them in the process. Nerves are normal, but highlight that not everything that is different is necessarily bad. It is important to encourage your children to face their fears instead of falling in to the trap of encouraging avoidance.
  5. Get involved and ask for help: Knowledge of the school and the community will better equip you to understand your child’s surroundings and the transition he or she is undergoing. Meeting members of your community and school will foster support for both you and your child. If you feel the stress of the school year is too much for you and your child to handle on your own, seeking expert advice from a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, will help you better manage and cope.

 

It’s Rarely About Us

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In life, we have enough to deal with with our own personal battles, the up and downs of everyday life and our own junk from our past and worries about our future. Still, most of us allow other people to dump on us, to put some of their battles, junk and worries into our already cluttered lives.

Most of the time we don’t even know this is happening and the people doing it to us are usually unaware as well. This all happens in our unconscious for the most part and is what is called displacement in psychology.

Displacement is an unconscious defense mechanism where someone transfers feelings of emotions, ideas or even desires unto other people or even objects. This usually happens in an effort to relieve anxiety, especially when it comes to things like aggression and sexual impulses.

Take for example, a wife who is sexually attracted to her boss and feels extreme guilt about it. She may come home and accuse her husband of being unfaithful, wanting to be with other women or even not finding her sexually desirable any more.

The wife will do this with so much emotional energy, that the husband will have no idea where these thoughts and feelings are coming from and will most likely do everything he can to assuage his wife and may even find himself stressed out although in all actuality, the situation has nothing to do with him.

The issue is not his, but he will make it is. He will take on all the emotional energy although it is not his in an effort to allay his wives feelings.

He may lose sleep about it and wonder what it is he is doing wrong.

We’ve all been in situations, arguments even where we knew on some level that it was not about us. I’ve been in situations where someone made me feel like I did something wrong and I did everything I could to rectify the situation, only to eventually find out it had nothing to do with me, meaning that although I was stressing and doing everything I could to make the person happy, there was really nothing I could do because it wasn’t really about me.

A good clue that it isn’t about you is when the level of emotion is out of proportion to the situation.

Lets say you accidentally drop and break a dish, but your partner goes berserk about it or you come home five minutes late and your spouse is raging out of control over your tardiness. Chances are, they are displacing their feelings, be it anger, anxiety or whatever.

Emotions can be considered energy in motion. When people have a build up of energy, they have to find a way of getting rid of it or it will affect them in other harmful ways (depression, self-harm through drugs, alcohol, reckless behavior).

Often the easiest and even safest way to get rid of that pent up energy is to direct it at the people they love simply because they know that chances are you aren’t going anywhere.

Your husband can curse you out and you may fight, but chances are you will still be there tomorrow. If he curses the person he really wants to curse out, for example, his boss, chances are he will not have a job tomorrow.

In psychology we are used to this and call it transference. Most clients eventually will transfer or displace feelings unto us, rather its issues they had with their mother, their father, their ex-husband, or whomever we start to “remind” them of.

As a male therapist, when I worked in a high school, I used to get a lot of teenage girls who would displace their anger and fear about their absent fathers towards me and in therapy, we work through this. It is part of my job, but in the real world, it is usually much more difficult and frustrating to deal with.

In some of the worst cases of displacement, it can become abuses. Lets say a husband is angry with his boss, but he can’t hit him, so he comes home and unconsciously picks a fight with his wife and hits her, displacing his anger. This may eventually become his way of “dealing with” his anger and the abuse cycle begins.

Sometimes this can have a chain reaction. Suppose the wife, now hurt and angry, displaces her anger unto their child by hitting him and the child then goes and hits the dog.

It can be a vicious, unhealthy cycle.

Displacement is an amazing psychological deception and some people will do it just as much consciously as unconsciously.

Some people will purposely displace their anger, worries, whatever unto others so that they can either attempt to avoid their own feelings or to distract the other person from the real problem.

When this type of displacement happens, it can be more abusive than simple unconscious defense mechanisms at work.

Take for example a wife who really is cheating and her husband gets suspicious. She gets scared and instead of confessing, she very angrily accuses him of being the one who is cheating. He may get so caught up in her strong emotional energy that he feels guilty for his suspicions and ends up being the one trying to treat her like a queen in an effort to show her that she is the only one for him, all the while she has successfully distracted him from the real problem at hand.

So the next time someone yells at you, gets angry really quick or displays any other emotion that seems out of proportion to the activating event, before you allow yourself to get caught up in all that emotion, take a few seconds and ask yourself, “Is this really about me?”. Sometimes that’s all it takes to avoid getting caught up in a battle of emotion that is not yours to fight and prevent yourself from unnecessary stress.

Sensitive People: Absorbing Other People Emotions

Teenage girl looking thoughtful about troublesI’m highly sensitive to other people emotions and energy. I have been for probably all of my life, but it is something I have just become aware of in the past few years. I can be having a good day, feeling happy and all it can take is an interaction without someone close to me, to bring me down.

When I discovered this sensitivity, it was quite alarming. It seemed like my mood and even the way I felt about myself were dependent on how the people around me were feeling and even how they felt towards me at that moment. You can imagine the amount of stress, anxiety and uncertainty it would cause me and often times I didn’t understand why. Looking back I think I thought that they’re mood and feelings had something to do with me. It took a lot of introspection before I realized a few things:

  1. Rarely if ever did the other persons mood, feelings or behavior have absolutely anything to do with me and,
  2. I can not control other people’s feelings.

A large part of it boiled down to control. I wanted everyone around me to be happy, to like me, to treat me the way I would treat them, and when they didn’t, I automatically assumed it was my fault and whatever joy or happiness I had would go away and turn into either self-blame, dysthymia or anger, especially when the people were close to me such as a girlfriend or close friend.

It took a long time for me to start working on not allowing other people emotions to affect mine, and honestly it is something I still struggle with on nearly a daily basis. Some days are better than others and when I do find myself losing my inner peace to someone else’s energy, I get discouraged because I know it’s not about me and that I can’t control their emotions nor should I allow them to have power over mine.

I learned however that if I beat myself up too bad for allowing someone to move me from my inner peace, I end up doing more emotional harm than good because I become negative towards myself for being “weak” or even “stupid” (negative self-talk never helps and is almost always a recipe for increased anxiety and depression).

I’m starting to realize that one way to stop giving so much power to other people over my emotions is by not expecting things from them that they can not give me, such as unconditional love, unconditional positive regard or fulfilling any of my various needs that can only be filled by me and God. By not expecting those needs to be met by others I have taken back much of my power, but still at times, it’s a struggle just like when trying to undo any bad habit physically or mentally.

Some Negatives to Being Hypersensitive

As I stated above, being hypersensitive to other people emotions makes it very easy to be affected by others emotions, usually not for the better. This can be very draining and overwhelming and can easily lead to anxiety and depression. This can cause us to withdraw so that we can process and deal with our emotions, which other people may not understand and take it negatively that we need time and space alone, especially since we live in a culture that devalues sensitivity. Lastly, hypersensitive people may have unrealistic expectations of perfectionism towards themselves (i.e., everyone is supposed to like me).

Some Positives About Being Hypersensitive

Just like most things that are negative, there are of course positive things about being hypersensitive emotionally. I think evolutionarily it helps us to pick up slight shifts in someones temperament or even the energy around us. I’ve been in rooms where everyone around me was talking, yet no one noticed the sudden shift in tension, or how someone else became emotional, angry or nervous during a certain topic. I would sometimes leave those situations knowing more about a person I didn’t even talk to just by watching the subtle changes in their expressions.

I think being hypersensitive to other people emotions help me to be more in touch with my own emotions. I’m always amazed at how many people aren’t in touch with their emotions and as a counselor, often it’s my job to help them to get in touch with their true emotions so that they can start living a real, authentic life. We hide from our emotions, mask our emotions (even from ourselves) and often don’t know why we feel or act in certain ways because we are not used to being in touch with that part of us. Hypersensitive people are almost always, sometimes neurotically checking in with their thoughts and emotions.

I think being hypersensitive also leads to being more creative, to being able to express ones emotions more through music, art, dance, poetry and writing for example. It also makes us more empathetic to others which in the field of mental health is a must.

Some Tips for Hypersensitive People

  1. You have to recognize and acknowledge that you are absorbing other people emotions. I’ve been doing it for years and until I actually realized it, I wasn’t doing anything different to try to stop it.
  2. When you start feeling a certain way after an encounter with someone, ask yourself if what you are feeling is really your emotion or theirs. You’ll be surprised to find out that most of the time it’s not yours and if it’s theirs then immediately release it. This alone will make you feel better most of the time.
  3. Remember that you are not responsible for nor can you control other people emotions so don’t worry over it because in doing so, you’ll just be absorbing it into your own emotional state.
  4. Identify what/who is making you feel a certain way and try to distance yourself if you can. If you can’t, go back through steps 1 to 3. Sometimes it’s a particular friend or group of coworkers that are the main source. Putting some distance between you and them can help alleviate the problem.
  5. When you start to feel overwhelmed by other people emotions, even if you can’t get away, try mindfulness or deep breathing techniques to help bring you back to your own inner peace.
  6. Speaking of inner peace, always try to work on building up your own inner peace by being good to yourself, exercising, eating right, maintaining good emotional, physical and mental health and surrounding yourself with people who bring you good and positive energy. BE GOOD TO  YOURSELF!

Being hypersensitive to other people emotions is both a gift and a curse, but look at it like a power that you have to master so that you are in control of your emotions and able to use all of the positive qualities that come along with being sensitive to other people emotions.

 

Taking Back Control Over Your Thoughts, Feelings And Emotions

quotes-will-smith-Favim.com-596013This is one of my favorite quotes, not because it is brilliant, which it is, not because it is simple and true, which it also is, but because it is something I teach daily to my clients and something that I personally struggle with.

A large majority of my clients are suffering from various issues because of interpersonal problems, many which could be eliminated or at least greatly reduced if they just stopped allowing other people to control their thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Matter of fact, learning to control your thoughts, feelings and emotions is the hallmark of cognitive behavioral therapy which is the main theoretical orientation I work from.

When I listen to my clients vent in anger, cry in sadness or hyperventilate through anxiety, what I hear a lot of is that they are giving other people too much power over them, many of them who don’t have their best interest at heart and who wouldn’t be sitting across from me in emotional and psychological pain if the tables were turned.

These people my clients let control them, for the most part, couldn’t care less about the agony they were causing them.

Most of my clients allow boyfriends, so-called friends, family members and even mere acquaintances dictate how they feel about themselves, how their day is going, what they think about their life and even their future.

It goes much deeper than that, but the point is that they have given other people power over them and I have to teach them how to start taking it back and keeping it for themselves.

I also try to teach them that nothing matters until they make it matter, something I got out of the book I AM: Discovering Who You Really Are by Howard Franco.  It basically means that you decide what effects you, how it effects you and what doesn’t.

Most people’s emotional thermostat is set on automatic, they automatically respond to certain situations the same, usually either with anger, fear or self-pity.

Learning that nothing matters until you interpret why it matters, how much it matters and how to respond to it, allows you to keep your power and decide rationally how and if you should respond to a situation. It takes the automatic response out of it, and allows you to slow down and make a much more fair decision.

Often our emotions and actions are out of line with the actual situation which causes a lot of emotional turmoil, but I don’t want to stray too far from the main topic. The bottom line is, we have to stop the cycle of allowing other people to control us, especially those who invest so little into us in a positive way.

I used to have an ex-girlfriend who I let control my thoughts, feelings and emotions to the point that I was probably a bit neurotic. How I felt about myself depended on how she felt about me that day. If she was happy with me and showing me love, I felt great about myself. If she was in a bad mood and treating me poorly, I hated myself. My life was full of anxiety trying to figure out how to keep her happy with me, something that was totally out of my control.

It took too many anxious days and crying at night for me to realize that she had too much control over me and I needed to take that control back. It took some self-help books, talking with friends who actually cared about me, and even some meditation before I finally found the strength to take back control and leave that person.

Sometimes however you can’t just leave that person because that person is in your family, or your husband or someone you don’t want to lose contact with, but you want to stop allowing them to control you. In that case, the person who has to do the work is you and only you.

It is not easy, but it is one of the most liberating personal experiences you may ever have.

I’ll end this with a line from chapter three in the book I AM: Discovering Who You Really Are, which is titled “You Decide What Matters”:

“What you experience can only have an effect on you in a tangible way if you make it matter. If you don’t make it matter,  it will have no effect on you.” – Howard Falco