Coming into the Thanksgiving holiday can bring a mix of anticipation and excitement along with dread, emptiness or sadness. The assumption that Thanksgiving will be spent with family and loved ones can bring up varying degrees of grief. If you’re feeling this way my heart goes out to you, and I want you to know you’re not alone. Many of us experience bittersweet aspects of getting together with people to “celebrate” and “enjoy” the holiday.
Most of us who pursue the professional mental health field have parts of our lives that are not completely healed or whole. We have our own wounds, let downs and disppointments, relationships that haven’t panned out the way we wished. Cards we’ve been dealt that weren’t always in our favor. We have pain from the past, grief held onto, disconnection and cut-off relationships. Whew, that’s a lot of pain to hold!
Sometimes the pressure we feel that it “should” be a fun time further contributes to our lackluster outlook. As a kid, I remember loving the holidays and all the get togethers with family and friends. Somewhere along the way it shifted and stopped being as much fun. Call it a process of growing up mixed with coming to terms with my own reality.
Becoming acquainted with the let downs in my own life and unfulfilled desires has allowed me to be a better therapist–to connect with my clients’ pain and their struggles. So, my not-so-fun-aspects of life are actually being redeemed. Because there’s a direct correlation between being intimately aware of, and in touch with, my own feelings and disappointments and being able to connect to those feelings of my clients. Life isn’t perfect and it can feel like everyone else has it better off than you. But it’s not necessarily true.
Today as the holiday season quickly approaches, I choose to notice and focus on what brings me joy and gratitude. Yes, there are aspects of my life with my family and friends that I’m utterly grateful for and there are aspects I could do without. We can hold both as true, and enjoy the parts that bring warmth, smiles and good vibes.
I focus on and acknowledge that I’m grateful to do this line of work. That I get to be a part of people’s healing and restoration. And I get to choose to be grateful every single day, for what is set before me every day. The opportunities, creative outlets, challenges, hiccups, all of it. No one else is going to step up to the plate and create that attitude adjustment for me. After all these years, I choose to live in gratitude, to see the best in people, and spread love (in legal and ethcial ways).
And I’m thankful for each of you, who read my blogs, engage in my Facebook posts and those of you who allow me into your lives to help you forge ahead! Stay blessed my friends.
Tyra Butler is a licensed therapist and has an email list that she delivers her exclusive content to, including blogs, powerful motivational and inspirational pieces, free advice, consultation and other valuable resources. Sign up for her list here. She works with pre-, provisionally-licensed and early career therapists to help them find paid work, start and grow their practices and make important decisions and career moves. She offers coaching and consultation, and as a professional writer provides copywriting coaching to create web site, marketing content and formulate innovative ideas to create additional income. She’s also the founder of the Facebook group Early Career Clinician Community where she gives some of her best tips and inspiration to succeed on the road to licensure. Tyra has been in private practice for 10 years, with 15 years in mental health, business and professional copywriting. Learn more about her services and blog here. Contact her here.