In some ways, I have no control over the fact that I get those images. There's a strong learning history there. Once upon a time, I went to college for a program that literally disdained and scoffed at everything that didn't have piles of scientific studies supporting it. Before that, I spent decades chasing the approval of academic authorities. Before I found a way to purchase "joy", I got it by getting good grades, by being top of the class, by being "right". How I loved being right. And now, I'd rather be courageous, honest, and inspiring. But a part of my mind remembers the past. So, my fearful thoughts are what they are. They do come. The more authentic I choose to be publicly (and the more public it is), the more of those thoughts come. I won't pretend they don't. They do. I can't control that.
What I CAN control is what I do about it. And I'm on a journey to do the exact opposite of everything my inner judgmental perfectionist tells me to do. When that voice says "Don't share, it's too ugly" - I share. When that voice says "Don't say that, they'll reject you" - I say it. When that voice says "Don't do that, it's too risky" - I do it.
So, that is how this article came to be. And that is how I'm coming around to sharing it with you again. I'm on a journey to prove to myself that all of my fears are just thoughts and that thoughts can and MUST be questioned relentlessly to determine if they are actually true. This does an incredible favour to me and I hope it does the same for you.
Because, in the end, that's what I believe a true, real act of love is - it's not just for me, not just for you, but for everyone.
Enjoy it. And thank you for your support, here and elsewhere. I appreciate your making time in your life for my words and I appreciate your walking this beautiful journey with me.
To me, he's a different person. No one sees him like this. Have you ever had a kid or a dog that just lights up when they see your face? Well, that's how he is to me. His voice just changes when he hears mine. He sounds like a man who's just won the lottery. His joy when he hears it's me on the other end is like the joy of a child.
Then, he tells me the same stories over. I think he's got some brain damage from a previous stroke, because he retells things and he lies a lot.
I guess my confession is - I don't always want to call. And, when I don't, I feel guilty. I feel like I should want to call, want to be there for him, want to be, as he says "his only joy in the world". I'm trying to get everyone else in the family to see him in a different light, to invite him over, to be kinder, but it's slow - grueling. Seems like everyone's got something else to worry about.
But, right now, I'm going to call. And I'm going to spend that hour. Because, sometimes, love is hard. Sometimes, love isn't exciting. With my client, I get so excited, because she grows every time, and then I take that excitement to my grandfather, and it withers as we speak, because it's all the same. And then, I have to forgive myself for this loss of enthusiasm and release my guilt over it. I'm just a human being. I am not a martyr. I am just a human being trying to do the right thing.
Not just with my grandfather, but this work in general, sometimes supporting people is really hard. Sometimes, I'm going through my own things and I don't share them and it builds up and I feel guilty for it building up. Other times, I'm a self-care superstar. Sometimes, I am not.
At the end of the day, I'm just learning this as I go, just like you are. And I hope that, if my confession has any value to you, it's to say that it's okay - it's okay to be where you are.
I've learned that, no matter how far you get, new challenges arise. New ways of being thrown into self-judgment and guilt and shame will always be around.
What matters is how we respond. What matters is our choice to love. And, honestly, I'm starting to think that doing it when it's hard is what makes us into better people. Because anyone can love when it's easy. But it takes work to love others when it's hard and love ourselves through not being the perfect caretaker.
It's not easy, but it is worth it. And so is being honest about how human I really am.
I hope you will do the same <3
- www.vironika.orgAuthor, Speaker, Coach, 2013 - presentI help people develop self-awareness, peace of mind, and self-love. For more information about one-on-one work, please visit http://www.vironika.org/work-with-me.
Vironika helps people cultivate self-love, heal mental and emotional suffering, develop healthy self-care habits, build deeper relationships with others, and unleash their inner potential to change the world.
Vironika is a different kind of teacher for a new generation. She doesn't wear makeup on her face and she doesn't cover up her humanity. She openly speaks about her failures, imperfections, and struggles.
She says, “Admitting my imperfections and trusting my intuition has led me to some life-changing conversations, many happy tears, and a lifetime of memories that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Memories that make me smile and, each day, help me realize that, maybe, people are ready for a leader who’s human. Maybe they’re ready for me.”
Vironika’s wisdom about healing did not come from any university, organization, church, or school of thought. Her wisdom flowered out of her recovery from a decade-long struggle with mental health, addiction, eating disorders, and profound self-hatred.
Having pulled herself out of the clutches of mental illness and profound suffering, Vironika strongly believes in the power, as well as the responsibility, within each person to do what she has done – to heal themselves and go on to heal the world.
On this journey that continues every single day, Vironika has found herself in many new places with new people hungry for her message and her understanding. Whether she’s writing an article, speaking on a stage, or coaching one-on-one, she uses her youthful energy and down-to-earth wisdom to help people radically transform their relationships with themselves, each other, and life itself.
Though she shares everything that she has used to heal herself and help heal others, Vironika will not call herself an expert or a guru. She believes that, deep within, we all have the antidote to our own suffering and the key to the door of our own happiness. Vironika is here to help you become the expert on yourself.
If you feel like you’re too broken to fix, hold out your last shred of hope and give Vironika a try. She won’t disappoint you. She will teach you about the power of love, the purpose of life, and the potential of people united. She will show you to yourself.
- Author of The Love Mindset2012 - present
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