At this time, someone may consider asking me: how do you help yourself? For some, this question will just be theoretical. For others, its answer will hopefully translate into a practical tool. My answer will primarily be helpful for the ones who want to survive. The ones in a victim role may say that they need or want help but their intentions will – sooner or later – contradict their words (and actions, if any).
The starting point is asking yourself the questions that you prefer not to be asked by others. I call this introspection or soul-searching. Such questions make you feel uncomfortable because the answers make you feel uncomfortable. Hence, we prefer not to be asked – not even by ourselves. Ignoring these questions will only increase their “weight”. Once these questions pop up, they’ll never leave.
I’m a firm believer that we do have the answers to our questions. It’s just that these answers are buried under layers of excuses, fears, guilt & shame, regret & remorse. A psychologist and/or psychiatrist would (only) assist you in finding such answers. It would just take (much) longer because we are in a much better position to ask the right questions to ourselves, and know the validity of our answers.
I suppose the biggest challenge is accepting our own answers. Our introspection is bound to follow (most of) the five stages in processing grief, as defined by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004): Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance (a.k.a. DABDA).
Knowing and accepting our own answer(s) will, however, pose a new challenge: do I need, want or believe in changing myself?
In some – if not, many – cases, it will be enough accepting our flaws and start loving ourselves (ie, philautia and not narcissism).
Changing ourselves is only possible when we believe in that change. A need to change, or a want to change, will only give us the willpower for a limited amount of time. Permanent change requires faith in that belief. Also see my blogs on Faith, Beliefs & Willpower.
The above may feel like moving a mountain. To them, I would like to reiterate the wise words from the Tao Te Ching by ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
I Don’t Want To Change You (2014) by Damien Rice
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2
I’ve never been with anyone
In the way I’ve been with you
But if love is not for fun
Then it’s doomed
Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.