Several years ago I bought a house. It was a "fix and flip" with all the right touches: granite countertops, new tile floors, and a lovely layout. During the first several months of being in my "new" home, the tile floors started cracking, the plumbing leaked in countless places, the roof proved itself faulty as water dripped into my living room, and the sewer exploded...everywhere. As the broken parts of my home began to reveal themselves, I found that my own broken places were revealed. I found my home to be a metaphor for life. The beautiful tile had been poorly laid on layers of linoleum. The walls had simply been used to conceal faulty plumbing and electrical wiring. The sewer puked up things I wish had stayed submerged in the ground. Isn't this like life? We cover and hide our hurt, our flaws, our despair with a beautiful facade- all in an attempt to convince others that we're "okay".
It was in this home, in this place of brokenness and exposure that I truly began to find inner healing. Being flawed was not the problem. The problem was in the lack of grace that I offered these broken parts of myself. And so I started to allow myself to be exposed in public. My home is not always clean. My relationships are tainted by conflict and disconnection. My dog pees on my Potterybarn rug. But finally, I feel free. I feel free to offer myself, and others, the grace to be flawed and to see all lives as "works in progress".
In today's society women face unique struggles and challenges including issues related to self-esteem, body image, and our overall identity at home and at work. There is a strong external, and internal, message to appear perfect. Running through our minds is the unspoken expectation to fulfill all of our roles without appearing stressed, tired, or overwhelmed. We want the world to see a perfect home, a perfect marriage, perfect children. We must not ask for help, we should control our feelings, and we should definitely look like we just stepped off of the cover of Vogue. If we fall short of this imagined "perfection" we may feel that we have failed and when we find ourselves in this place of perceived failure, we may become depressed, hopeless, or ashamed. However, I don't believe that this is the life we were designed to live.
If you are feeling disconnected from yourself or others due to a change in your life, a recent loss, or other traumatic event this may be a chance to reconnect with your unspoken emotions, needs and desires. As a therapist I will grieve with you through these moments of sorrow and suffering while working to help you release yourself from the expectations and inner beliefs that keep you feeling trapped. In addressing the unique struggles that women face as they work to develop and live passionate lives, I encourage them to laugh, to cry, and most of all, to be real. Call today and let me walk with you as you begin a journey of authentic, grace-filled living.
“The best beauty product is to have a life. A real life. With challenges, disappointments, stress and laughter. The much-touted inner beauty is a natural radiance that comes as a result of mental and emotional involvement.” ~Veronique Vienne