Close some doors, not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they no longer lead somewhere” Paulo Coelho.
Visualisation Exercise Imagine doors in your life that are better closed in order to open new doors. Think of this as a closure exercise.
Sometimes we need to keep some ‘life doors’ closed to keep out the toxic garbage out of our life, perhaps it is doors that have been slammed shut on us, causing untold hurt and anger. Maybe its doors that you have shut to change and move on from toxic relationships, dead end jobs, decisions you put off for years…
Sometimes closing doors are necessary to open new doors. Keeping them closed allows you to keep opening new doors that allow you to see every closed door, every disappointment, every wrong all of these have helped make you who you are.
Maybe the answers you are searching for are behind the next door and you have an opportunity to change and not look back.
Shame of the toxic type can be one of the most damaging of human emotions. The inner critic (the voice in our head) has the power to convince you that all the critical thoughts you have about yourself is right — for example, the critic that says “you’re not good enough”, “I knew you’d get it wrong”, “you failure”,“you’ll never really belong anywhere…” This type of shame can cause us to withdraw from others and shut down our feelings. It can also lead to being self destructive leading to anxiety, depression and addiction etc to numb the painful emotions that toxic shame brings.
It is so important that we learn ways to deal with toxic shame and to build healthy ways of overcoming and challenging it. Overcoming shame means acknowledging firstly that it is there.
In counselling, you begin to share your experiences within a safe and trusted environment. A professional counsellor is trained to listen in a nonjudgmental way. By offering an empathic & understanding response, counselling helps you to learn that you aren’t perfect, you are all too human and despite regrets, mistakes and life challenges – you are still a person of worth.
Learning to have more self compassion and practising self care (being kind to you) along with experiencing empathy from others gives you a different perspective that challenges the idea of the shame you are carrying, that it is not healthy shame.
Talking about your feelings can help you to understand the how and why, you feel the way you do. With the support of counselling you gain insight into the insecurities, fears and doubts you have (that we all have) this helps you to manage toxic shame without it defining who you are and no longer masking how you truly feel.
Whether you are thinking of counselling for the first time or have already had counselling in the past, it can still feel daunting to reach out and ask for help. I understand this and how difficult choosing a counsellor can be.
Committing to Counselling is a big step and by making that first contact you have already begun to overcome some of your fears and are getting ready to start your counselling journey to help you, help yourself and find that courage to change.