Life is funny. First, I went to school for what feels like a thousand years to learn about couple and family relationships. Now, I’ve married an amazing man, blended a very happy family, set up a website, opened a clinic and created the life I always wished I had. That doesn’t mean I am always happy. Life still takes focus and purpose – focusing on relationships even when I just want to ignore the problems. One of the things that helps me refocus when I feel as though things are too stressful is to go to work. I learn so much from my clients and genuinely thank them for choosing me for support.
Overall, there are three things I learned from balancing my life as a wife, mother, step-mother and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
- I’m not always right. Much to my chagrin, I do make mistakes – lots of them. Unfortunately, I don’t have the get-out-of-jail-free card of “I didn’t know!” Honestly, it’s just “I wasn’t paying attention!” We all make mistakes and get too focused on ourselves and our own needs. I remind everyone – when I’m at home, I’m just a wife, mother, stepmother and business owner… Oh, isn’t that enough?
- I need reminding, too! One of the best things I can do for my stress level and my marriage is to go to work. A training on communication or stress management, a couples session to reconnect in a marriage, or a parent needing support on family structure, they all help me be a better person. They remind me of what is really important in life… my marriage and my family.
- Sometimes, I just need to give myself a break. One of the issues of using my personal life to create my professional brand is that I get stuck in a perfection spiral. And trust me, I’m not perfect… just ask my husband. I procrastinate the laundry and cleaning, snap at my hubby when it’s not his fault, and eat all the wrong things. But I need to remind myself what I tell my clients, life is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s important to see the mistakes I make. But if I focus on the little mistakes, then I overlook the happiness of enjoying my life as a whole.
I’m not perfect, but that is what make me who I am and what connects my clients to me. So guess what, it’s OK. If I expect my clients to get to that place, why is it so hard for me to live there!?! I resolve to do my best to live in a space of forgiveness. Forgiving myself and those around me for not being perfect. Most of us don’t live up to our own expectations. The best part is, others in our life don’t hold the same high expectations.
If you find it hard to enjoy life and feel stuck in negativity, reach out for help. Use a coach or a therapist to get out of your own head and back into changing reality. Don’t remain stuck. Contact Family SOS to make an appointment with one of our clinicians, today!
Originally Published 2/24/15 http://www.yourtango.com/experts/teresa-petersen-mendoza/3-things-i-learned-being-therapist