SECRETS OF A SOCIAL WORKER

Find peace. Find happiness. Find yourself.

Tag: be you (page 1 of 2)

Honoring Your Uniqueness

If there is one thing we are all guilty of, it’s living our lives for other people. We forget to step into our power and own who we are. We forget to focus on our own aspirations and instead worry about pleasing those around us. And when we do this, we lose the ability to understand who we are. We lose track of our own feelings, and we set aside our wants and needs without even realizing it.
I immediately notice when I give up power over my own life. I know this because when I am asked a question, my response is to immediately think about others; their feelings, their reactions, their perspectives, and I completely forget to focus on what’s most important…Myself.
People don’t ask us questions or want our expertise, help, opinions, support, etc.. so we can provide them perspectives of others. They are asking for us. However, we get so easily pulled into this habit that we forget about honoring our own unique selves. 

This is one of the biggest mistakes we make in our short and well-intentioned lives. It is so easy for us to be pulled into someone else’s reality; it takes focus and assertiveness to keep our own dreams in the forefront of our minds. But if we don’t focus on and work towards our own dreams, someone else will get us to work for theirs. And this happens to us every.single.day.

Decide what you want. Once you become precise in your wants and conscious of your own dreams, goals, aspirations, you become better at deciphering decisions and what path will lead you to where it is you want to be most. Once you decide what you want, it will be easier for you to determine the decisions that will pull you into your own power versus the decisions that lead you into living your life for other people.

A question I ask myself to help stay on top of my own power is, “what is my ideal situation?” or, “what is my ideal outcome?”. I take everything else out of the equation; risks, fear, opinions, other people’s reactions or feelings, potential set backs, etc…And I force myself to answer the question.
What is your ideal situation? What is your ideal outcome? Once you can firm up your answer and find your power, the more you can understand the path you need to take to reach your goals. When we believe in our own power and believe in our uniqueness, our confidence skyrockets. And trust me when I say you will waste so much less time. The greatest gift is a feeling of knowing, and a feeling of complete confidence over where we are at in our lives. 

You are powerful. Step into your own power and step out of the shadows you place yourself in. You have something to offer this world that is unique; no one else can provide to this world what you can. And how awesome is that?

In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different~

-keep shining
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To Feel It All Is To Be Alive

We are supposed to feel…
Emotions are meant to awaken us.

We are supposed to
love
and hate
and cry
and laugh.

That’s the point.
To feel it all is to be human.

We are supposed to be destroyed.
Pick up the pieces over and over again.

Don’t avoid it,
don’t remove it.

Accept the pain when you’re broken.
Know that you’re going to make mistakes.

We grieve,
we get angry.

But it’s only then that we recognize how good life can be when it’s really good.

To feel it all is be to alive. 

 

-keep shining

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One Swear Word A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Laugh all you want, but I truly feel like swearing is an underutilized coping mechanism that often gets judged. If there is one thing I can say that continuously provides some relief and humor in my life, it’s swearing….
Think about how much more you’re able to withstand the pain of stubbing your toe when you scream out some vulgar language, or how much more exciting that promotion is when we meet the excitement with a resounding, “F*CK YES!”.

I have come to accept that I just love to swear. I used to have a swear jar, but quickly realized I could fund NASA if I continued down this path of trying to be more ‘lady-like’.
So okay, you get it…I swear like a sailor and use manners like a saint, but the older I’m getting the more I am finding this trait to help me relate to others. There is something relieving about interacting with someone who uses a little bit of vulgarity in their vocabulary; it’s personable. And there are articles out there that claim we trust those we interact with more when they swear. Whether or not those articles are legitimate, I feel like that’s accurate in my world. I relax a little bit and feel like I can be myself around those who talk like me, who can let their guard down a little, and be who they are.  It makes me feel like they have reached a point of feeling comfortable around me. We are adults, after all, and expressing ourselves is very important.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a time and place for this kind of language, so don’t go crazy with letting your F-bombs fly in front of the kids. But when it’s appropriate, maybe swearing can help a little, ya know? It’s a way to express ourselves more accurately. Swearing brings  humor into many aspects of our lives, and adds some drama to any story we tell.  It just helps us express ourselves and allows us to wear our emotions on our sleeves more accurately. Sugar-coating things can be exhausting. If we constantly tiptoe around what we want to say, we aren’t being true to our feelings. We just need to let it out sometimes, and that’s okay!

Swearing is like a compromise between our fight or flight response; when we don’t know how to react or respond, we swear. At least when I am stuck, swearing makes me feel ‘normal’ and letting out a simple, “sh*t” or “dam*it” is all I needed, and all that I really could do in the situation.
Think about a time someone purposefully scared the crap out of you…Pause for a second and recall that situation. Typically our fight response in that moment may be to punch that person in the face (perhaps not the best plan of action), or our flight response is to cover our face and scream or run in the opposite direction. We had no control over those responses because in those ‘fight or flight’ moments our brains take over our responses. However, another possible response may be that we let out a giant, “HOLY F*CK!”.  And in my opinion, that is by far the best response. In that scenario, no one goes to the hospital with a broken nose, but instead we all have a good laugh over the ridiculous swear word our brain decides to word vomit. And it provides the most relief now that you realize no one is jumping out to murder you.

Swearing makes situations more uplifting, and it’s just the best answer to life’s predicaments sometimes. So before casting judgement onto someone for using colorful language next time, maybe take a second to ask yourself, “well sh*t, am I being too f*cking judgmental right now?”…And also pat yourself on the back, because perhaps Sweary-Susan over there felt comfortable enough around you to let her guard down and cuss a little.

Life’s disappointments are harder when you don’t know any swear words.

-keep shining

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

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Food for thought:
Maybe when you no longer need anything, you can have everything. And when you stop trying to make things happen, anything can.
Take a second to reread this quote a few times and think about what it means to you. Does it resonate with you as much as it does with me?

We spend so much of our time focusing on what we want and deserve, how to reach that goal, how to ensure the outcome is exactly as we need it to be. We want every situation in our life to play out the way we imagined. But let me ask you this, how is that working out for ya?
How many times have your plans worked out the way you’ve tried to twist and turn them?

Every time something cruddy or unforeseen happens to me I get stressed and upset, just like anyone else.  But  life has been a lot easier to navigate when I take a step back and look at the bigger picture. I can completely understand why that road block, unpredictable adventure, plot twist, happened. Every time I take this step back, I learn something about myself and I am grateful for the experience. It doesn’t take away from the pain or confusion or stress that it had on me as I still have disappointments. Every time I take a step back I trip and fall over an imaginary line, and fall flat on my face (both literally and figuratively because I am the most accident prone human I know).
Taking a step back and reflecting does flood us with emotions, some of which we want to avoid. It’s difficult because we are faced with the realization of ourselves and that change is hard. It’s important to remember that it is normal to feel these emotions; anger or disappointment typically, when things do not work out in the boring, predictable way we hoped.
We need to allow ourselves to trust the process more often, to challenge ourselves to let go. I talk about this a lot in my blogs because I see everyone in my life struggle with this, time and time again. When life happens, we vent and focus solely on the negativity of the event and we ignore all that we’ve gained. It’s easier to complain than to challenge ourselves. But each and every one of you is resilient, and I promise you will get through it. I can promise you this because you’re still standing, aren’t you? Think about how much you’ve been through in your life. The wonderful thing is you’re still here, despite it all. And it’s the difficult times in life that truly define us. Don’t miss the opportunity to be proud of who you are and what you’re capable of.
Click here to read my blog on letting go of control

Most of the time we refuse to look at how that negative experience could also benefit our lives. We really can have everything when we expect nothing, when we let it flow and bring on life’s adventure. Anything is possible when we let go of expectations or plans for the future. Doesn’t that just make you smile and exhale a little bit? I know I relax a little more each time I remind myself of this. I feel more motivation to accept and appreciate the unknown.
Not only do we try to manipulate life’s tests to make them fit our impossible mold, we focus on what others have. If there’s anything I have learned through my career in social work, it is that we have no idea what anyone is going through, regardless of what we see on the outside. We constantly focus on the next shiny object; the they-have-what-I-want mentality. We focus on who we strive to be like and base happiness on materialistic things that others possess. Just try to focus on yourself, comparing to others is a huge waste of energy. Trust me when I say, there’s enough to go around. Life is so much sweeter when we can just be happy for others and move on. But know that you too will find what it is that you need, always. And don’t forget that regardless of how great someone’s life seems, it’s not your life. You don’t have that life because it was not meant for you. Embrace your own path.
Speaking of focusing too much on others, I have also learned to be picky with friends. People can be toxic and add to the stress of your world. I often hear people say that as you get older, you start to notice those diamond friends that are always there; good, bad, or ugly. Some ‘friends’ are just around for all the good times, or others only show up when you’re life is full of obstacles. We let these people influence us too much. Don’t drink other people’s poison, even when it’s offered with love….
We all have that one friend who never fails to be right at our side when it involves some juicy drama or tragic event, however aside from that they mysteriously disappear. Your struggles make them feel better about their own lives. Or the ‘friends’ you only hear from during times of fun and adventure and social outings. I have one word of advice for you; drop ’em like they’re hot….Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Click here to read my blog about self-focus; letting go of the world’s expectations
Click here to read my blog about connection vs attachment, and when to let go of some relationships

Okay, sorry for that ‘squirrel!’ moment on lame friends; back to letting go…
I also want to point out that we never know what blessings an obstacle is creating behind the scenes. I would argue that you could totally be avoiding larger nightmares and mishaps because this obstacle arose in your life, thankfully
For example, I was previously employed at a job I loved. It always felt smooth-sailin’ and doable, even on the long and emotional days. However, my biggest blessing and curse as a human is that I get bored easily. I constantly need to be learning and feel like I am being challenged in my work. God forbid I just pick a job with no stress, chaos, or overtime, but I can hardly imagine that!
I was starting to get a little stir crazy at this job due to the desire to always be challenged. But because I enjoyed my clients and could not fathom moving on, I could not get myself to leave the organization. Out of the blue, there was a huge misunderstanding that has caused a lot of self reflection in my life. I ended up leaving that job in a really confused and upsetting place, however because of that I found a better path for myself. I am now in a position that was meant for me, and that I am beyond passionate about. Had some random, unpredictable experience not occur at that previous job, I would not be here today. I would not have had the drive to leave and allow this new job to practically fall into my lap. As far as misunderstandings go, talk about good timing. Not to mention that since I left that job, a lot more has changed which has placed much more stress and workload onto the wonderful staff there. AKA, I dodged a bullet and avoided those bigger nightmares that I mentioned earlier.
During that time in my life, I was not myself. I took on someone else’s problems and internalized them making it my own fault. I wasted many days wondering why. But once I took the time to step back and focus big picture, I learned so much about myself. I learned to be more assertive and stand up for myself, I learned that it is okay to not take the fall for someone else, and I feel more confident in knowing I did not do anything wrong. I am always trying my best, and at the end of the day that is what matters. And ultimately, it was those feelings that motivated me to leave, to move on, and to know that the position was no longer serving me. That chapter was closing, and opened me up to a path full of new possibilities.

Long story short, life can be unrealistically unpredictable in the best of ways if we just lessen our expectations and let life be beautiful…The way it was meant to be.

 -Keep shining 

Click here to read more about how to instill more fun in your life
Click here for the top 10 reasons to call in sick
Click here and here for blogs on how to be more assertive

Click here for more tips on letting go

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Quotes and motivation for today’s blog came from the book Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver

Secrets of a Social Worker

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Having to constantly remind yourself that you have done your best
Even though that suicidal client made you second guess
Blaming you for their problems and the reason they will die
But then the next day they stop by your office just to say hi
Trying to convince that client that she has many strengths
But she tells you the tan line from her watch is the best she can name
Then opening up Facebook and seeing that she’s passed
Depression got the best of her and was the reason she’s laid to rest

It’s the letters and calls of the clients who you never thought cared
Telling you you’re the best thing that’s happened to them and the reason they’re still here

Having to stay strong when sitting across from the person talking about their rape
That they’ve been trafficked for years but people call her a whore and point the blame
She is crying to you saying she had no other way
Because her parents weren’t there and she had nowhere to stay
But that charming man offered her a bed and some love and affection
Then she wakes up to realize she was assaulted and he gave her an infection

It’s the little boys you just met who call you mom
So you break down afterwards debating if you can adopt

The four-year-old girl who says she hates cops
and you try to convince her they are safe and that’s part of their job
But to her they were evil as they constantly came to her home
Because her mother used drugs and sold dope
So now she shutters under the blankets each time someone comes to the door
She screams bloody murder and immediately hits the floor
No amount of therapy or comfort makes it stop
She will never feel safe and will forever hate cops

It’s the cutter you found on the floor covered in her own blood
Then calling her dad who says he won’t pick her up
he’s burnt out and he’s done
Trying to convince her life is worth it
But she’s been beaten down too many times and told she’s worthless
Then leaving that day with a trauma-filled brain
But it’s your birthday that night so you fake a smile and choke down your cake

The hyper-vigilance constantly haunting you
Looking around wondering who plans to buy a 14 year old girl to bring back to their hotel room

Being scared to walk alone in the parking lot at night
Knowing that you upset a client who may have a knife

Having to kick that guy out of treatment for his failed urine test
Even though you know he needs you more than the rest
But you have to follow rules as that is what’s ‘best’
but that night you are restless
He won’t ever know how much you cared
and that you really wanted to be there

The dreadful news that another one has died
Lost their precious life to suicide
And asking yourself what you could have done to change their mind

It’s watching foster children suffer through night terrors and missing their mom
You advocate and fight but can’t send them home
So you hug them tight and hope they make it
To not be the majority who drop out of school and never feel like they fit

The boy who tells his mom to fuck off in group therapy
that he hates her and she doesn’t amount to anything
She breaks down because she can’t take the pain
And you’re supposed to know the right thing to say

People reminding you to practice self care
But what does that even mean
When you break down in tears and wake up from those awful dreams
No amount of bubble baths, gym sessions, or journaling will make that better than it seems

But through the turmoil and struggle
You can’t help but be thankful
For the lives you have ‘saved’ and the people who know you care
For the ones that make you smile and realize life isn’t fair

That’s why we help one another
And pick each other up
Because fairness doesn’t exist but through love we know we have done enough

Knowing that you have given some lives just a little glimmer of hope
Becoming so resilient and being able to cope

Sometimes it’s hard but it’s worth it when you meet that little girl
Who reminds you that you’ve been helpful and made a huge difference in her world

That is why we do it each and every day
We smile through the tears and tell ourselves that we will be okay
To be strong and empathetic because they have it worse than you
With patience and acceptance, you make a difference
through and through

 

-keep shining

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