Preparing for the Holiday Season: Addicted to Exhausted!

‘Tis the season to spend money….but to spend money…you have got to have money…and to have money means you have to earn money…and so begins the vicious cycle of work-aholism. Buy now...pay later and later and later and later.

At work the other day I was teasing a co-worker because I think he might work more hours than I do. You see, you know you are a work-aholic if you don’t know what to do besides errands and sleeping on your day off. You know you are a work-aholic when you on your days off and you are not sleeping or running errands, and you don’t know what to do with yourself but to go to work. You know you are a work-aholic when on your days off it is hard to catch time with a friend because they have given up trying to schedule you into their schedule. You know you are a work-aholic when you start counting (on your day off) the hours you could have worked and the money you could have made if you had worked instead of taking some time off. You know you are a work-aholic when coffee no longer affects you but you can’t live without it. You know you are a work-aholic when you recognize all of these things…and you continue to work.

Nobody is a work-aholic by choice. Life-circumstances fall upon us or we bring them on us and work-aholism is a survival skill. We spend more than we make, we have more responsibilities than finances, and we want more than we have. We have poor boundaries and don’t say “No!” enough to ourselves or others when it comes to spending. We are single parents trying to keep our kids clothed, fed, and fitting in with their peers. We are young people, old people, hourly-wage earners, trying to make it when rent or our mortgage is higher than our incomes will permit. Seventy-eight percent of full-time workers say they live paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent report from Career Builder. (Aug 24, 2017)  According to CBS News, Americans are dying with an average of $62,000.00 of debt. (Mar 22, 2017). And we are holiday shopping… trying to numb away the pain of that reality by heading out to the shopping malls for the best deals on Black Friday or by charging up the computers to be ready for the best deals on Cyber Monday.

There is a huge price to pay for living life this way of exhaustion and overwork.  We are sacrificing our mental health, which eventually will impact our physical health. We are sacrificing our social health, as we are too busy to make time for good relationships. We are sacrificing our spiritual health by placing idolatry of material wants in front of a relationship with God. We are short changing our capacity to grow because we are becoming too exhausted to have time for creativity, which leads to higher thinking and problem solving. We are sacrificing our leisure time. We are sacrificing happiness, because exhaustion is a joy robber. We are sacrificing opportunities to launch our dreams, because that takes time and energy, and all our energy and time goes to work. We are sacrificing our passions and our purpose.   We are sacrificing our peace, our patience, our kindness, our goodness, our gentleness, and our self-control.

Action Step: Are you a work-aholic? Are you overstressed by the state of your finances? Pay attention to how this is impacting the rest of your life. What is the price you are paying by the overspending and the overworking? You must take time in order to have the energy to create change.

This Holiday season pay attention to how you spend your money and your time. Make sure that is a price you are willing to pay. Your presence is more important than any present you could give. Enjoy the season by spending time with friends and family, instead of spending money.

Preparing for the Holiday Season: Exhausted!

Have you ever felt exhausted? So exhausted that you are just going through the motions but not experiencing the emotions. So exhausted that you can feel the tired in your bones, and in your soul? So tired that you eat to keep going…even though you are full? So tired that it is hard to maintain a feeling of joy and an attitude of gratitude? So exhausted that your too exhausted to write a blog on exhaustion?

There are times and seasons in life when exhaustion is just part of life…college, graduate school, early years of parenting, starting a business, a project with a due date…

But we are an exhausted culture. We accept exhaustion as the norm. We look at exhaustion as a war wound worthy of admiration and respect. We are not treating our relationship with exhaustion as short term. We live in exhaustion. We fail to take our sleep and our mental health seriously. 

On many occasions the topic of rest has presented itself to me. On one occasion I was in a Bible study where the topic of a day of rest not being a punishment, but rather a gift to me was astonishing. In graduate school, I studied other cultures who don’t have the same “work yourself to death” mentality as America, where research validates that more work is accomplished in a shorter period of time when people are well rested and refreshed. At work we were given a short 40-day task to take our sleep seriously. I failed to complete that task. But Thanksgiving weekend hit. I was scheduled to work. Two of my children were home. There was not enough time to do all that needed to be done, and time with my kids is never enough. And by Sunday, I truly hit exhaustion.

There are moments in life where we acknowledge we are tired…but we keep going as if it is just a circumstance of being alive. Then there are moments of empowerment where we make a decision to change. Change does not happen until we make a decision to change. Once we make the decision to change, we have to commit to it in our minds, and re-decide to that decision, daily, until it is a habit. It is not education that changes us. Education assists us in becoming aware. It is a decision to change that creates change…a moment of hitting rock bottom…when change is essential. 

That Sunday, I realized how important sIeep and self-care is. That Sunday, I made a decision to take care of this temple. I went to bed at 730 pm. I woke up after 4 hours…imagine that. I have trained my body to live off 4 hours of sleep and my body does not know how to stay asleep. And then I went back to bed. I woke up rested and awake.

I work in a hospital setting with people who are addicted to long shifts, long hours, and living fully. That Monday morning I asked 8 people how they were. Tired, tired, exhausted, tired, exhausted, tired, tired, and GREAT! 1 person had slept well besides me. We are a country addicted to our exhaustion…addicted to running full tilt. There is a price to pay for living life without rest. It is necessary for certain seasons in life…but it is not a way of living.

 

Action Step: As we are about to step in to the busiest season of the year, take notice of the rubber balls and the glass balls in your life. Rubber balls are things that will bounce if you drop them: Our finances, our careers and the goals we have attached to them, or making a perfect Christmas or Holiday in the home. Glass balls are the things that will shatter if you drop them: The people we love, our health, and our relationships. Focus on the glass balls and make sure they are the ones that you take good care of. Get rest! Taking good care of yourself will allow you to be present to experience the season. Focus your time on enjoying being with those you love and care about during this holiday, and focus less on the doing, the buying, the running around. We can get so busy that we miss the whole season and the present of presence.

Thanksgiving…The Family is Coming!! Ode to Parenting

For many blessed people in our country, family will be travelling great distances or from across the street to enjoy a traditional dinner with the people we love the most…but sometimes we don’t always like those people or the choices they make. Thanksgiving, even for the luckiest of people, can be a time of stress, and may require lots of patience, compassion, empathy, and forgiveness.

 

All of us have parents who have pushed our buttons at some point in time. Many of us have children who also know how to push our last button. If you have children that know how to push your last button, I promise you…you are also that parent that can push their buttons as well. 

 

How did you learn to parent? These kids did not come with a manual, and if they did it would have required a lifetime of reading. We learn from our parents of course! We either parent as they did because they did a great job, or we try desperately to be nothing like them…but no matter how different we try to be, a part of them will always show up. We may read a few good parenting books, we may even attend a few classes, but at the end of the day, a good portion of parenting is done by intuition…and the most common parenting practice is the “wing it” method. 

 

As intentional as we start out with hopes to be that perfect parent, we are mere humans, prone to error, and parenting is a 24/7/365 day a year, exhausting gig. It is a full time job, while we are probably juggling another full time job, and chances are we are going to make mistakes. When we do, I promise you, there are little eyes recording and taking notes. It will come back at you at some future point in time.

 

Somehow winging it is just not enough. We must build up a toolbox to improve our parenting. One of parents’ roles is to teach children to have emotional intelligence. The way to do this is by teaching children to be able to recognize the emotions and stress they are experiencing and to teach vocabulary that identifies those feelings. I am feeling sad (happy, angry, frustrated). 

 

In my work with both adolescents and adults, most people are detached from their feelings. The feeling is bubbling underneath the surface and they don’t know how to label it. One must know how to label it, in order to be able to regulatethe emotion. This is part of why we have so much depression and anxiety and anger in our world. We must learn to slow down and breath, recognize the feeling and then calm it, so we can handle business, which leads to the third step in building emotional intelligence, respond.Once the emotion is regulated and controlled, we must teach our children to respond with words that empower and words that are kind. 

 

Remember that parenting is learned from our parents. We will either parent like them or we won’t. It is essential for us to become emotionally intelligent so that we can teach our children how to be emotionally intelligent. If we are not recognizing and handling our feelings, and we are losing our tempers, so too will our little ones…most likely for their whole lives. If not corrected, they will pass this down to their children. We teach our children how to be angry and then tell them anger is not appropriate or good. Anger is good. It tells us something is wrong. Rage is not good. It tells us anger is in control. It causes hurts and wounds that impact a whole system.

 

Then these children grow up, head out into the real world or off to college. The holidays arrive, and they come home…

 

Even the most wonderful parents will let their children down.  In fact, the better the parent, the harder the let down, as these children grow up and learn their super hero, role model, wonderful parent, is also flawed and falls short of super hero status. This disappointment can cause friction. Adult children will often try to help their parents reestablish or reclaim their superhero status. They will correct, criticize, negate, and argue, and for the parent it can be frustrating and hurtful. Their youthful wisdom is dull on insight, and their passion can be overbearing. What we must remember is these children are trying to love us…they just aren’t as skilled at communicating that this is what they are trying to accomplish. In their independence and freedom, they have come to experience the world in a way that is different from how they were raised, and they often just want to be heard, understood, acknowledged, and respected. They also want to fix you to see the world as they do. Sometimes they are right, so it is important to acknowledge this learning, and to try to see the world through their perspective. Listen to them! Be present with them! Love them!

 

Many times our skills as parents improve after we have finished raising our children. It is never too late! Do not forget we are forever their parents. Good genuine conversation around the topic of emotional intelligence can be implemented at any age. The potential for change is always present, especially when it is accompanied with a significant dose of love, patience, and forgiveness. 

 

Action Step: As Thanksgiving approaches and families are getting together, be flexible and open-minded in your thinking. Be patient. Love unconditionally. Remember why you’re together. Remember that what you’re really trying to do is grow them and prepare them to be a better parent than you. Look at your own behaviors and ask yourself how can I be more loving? And to adult kids, focus on why your parents were your superheroes and love them for those wonderful traits they have or acts they committed...Remember they raised you to be the wonderful person you are and remember we are all a little flawed and broken. 

When You Feel Like Your World Is Falling Apart… 

Your world’s not falling apart..it’s falling into place

The other day I was in a hurry. I was trying to get an errand done and discovered that the credit card I needed to return the item I was trying to return was in my daughter’s wallet. My fault! …Still frustrating because I had a very short window of time to get errands done. As I was venting towards myself “oh I can’t believe I didn’t grab my card!” The lady at the checkout turned to me and tried to reframe the moment by saying, “At least you have a credit card to use, and at least you have a job that pays for a credit card. I would love to have a job like that.” No lie, I know she was trying to help me to have a more gratuitous perspective, but she just pissed me off more. Why? Her intent was good…so why was I irritated with her? 

 

I felt that her Pollyanna attitude towards my moment of frustration unwelcome. True this was a minor first world problem, but it was that last overwhelming straw on a 2000 lb haystack. Now I didn’t go into a melt down…I wasn’t in that bad of a place… I moved on with my day and ran the errand later that evening…but the Pollyanna attitude was on my mind.

You see, there is a time and a place to reframe. It comes after we have acknowledged the negative emotion, not before. We cannot pretend negative feelings away. We live in a society that requires you never to have a negative emotion and if you do have them, you don’t show them, or talk about them…it is not politically correct. You are to never show you feel or even feel frustrated… never complain… never show that you are having a moment. 

 

Susan David, PhD and professor at Harvard, said once that a person approached her and just said they wanted everything to be just right, everything to be calm and peaceful, and stress free. Her response was “Oh, you have dead people goals.” Only dead people live a life of calm, peace-filled, and stress-free life. The rest of us living people get to struggle. Struggles are important. Without struggle there is not success. Without disappointment there is not motivation. Without feeling negative emotions, you cannot feel positive emotions. If you numb out one emotion, you will numb them all out. Without valleys, there are no mountaintops.

 

As I am processing this, while I am driving down the street, I see a homeless man standing on the corner in 40-degree weather with a leg brace on his left leg. And I am telling you it is still OK and not only OK but necessary for you to recognize that your moment sucks for you. And his moment sucks for him. His moment in life out-sucking yours, doesn’t take away that you are having one of those moments.

I remember years ago when I was not even 18 months out of a divorce and my heart was still broken when 911 happened. One of the teachers that I worked with turned to me and said, “Those are people who deserve to be in grief.” That was one of the most profoundly dumb and hurtful things I have ever heard, yet it taught me this very valuable lesson.  Everyone has permission to decide what they are going to grieve, when they are going to grieve, and how long they are going to grieve. The choice to grieve belongs to the person who is grieving. Everyone has the right and the need to be angry, to be sad, to be frustrated, to feel pain, and to have a negative emotion. There are people that will always suffer more than we do- we live in a very entitled society. That does not mean we don’t suffer, or that what we are going through doesn’t hurt us. It means right now we are stuck in the hurt…and when we get through that pain, we will be ready to grow, learn, and be ready to be redirected on our path.

 

This is not permission to live in the dark valley forever. This is not permission to implode your grief on everyone you see. It just means that there is an important period of time, after a negative event happens, that it is necessary to recognize that the negative event has impacted you, and that it is OK and healthy and necessaryto recognize these emotions. Once experienced and processed, then reframing is essential. 

 

One of my favorite children books is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

by Judith Viorst. She details the struggles of a young boy reporting on how his day is not going as he intended. On several occasions he shares that he is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Several times he thinks of moving to Australia. I often think a tropical island in the late spring is a perfect escape. At the end of the story, his mom sits down to talk with him. She tells him a very important truth. “Some days are like that, even in Australia”…even in America…even in your home!

 

Action Step: Feel and experience your emotions fully. Have a bad day, an awful moment, a frustrating minute. Own it, feel it live it, and when you are ready, then let it go!

Thanksgiving is About Community--Even Those People Who Just Drive You Crazy

Do you ever feel a bit like scrooge at this time of year? It’s time to gather with friends and family or it is time to attend the holiday party and the only words that come to mind are “Bah! Humbug!”

It is more than likely that there will be someone you would rather not bump into at one or more of these festive occasions. This particular someone has treated you wrong one time or another in the past, or he/she just knows how to push that red trigger button that makes you go pop.

The problem with us human beings is that we hate the sinner. We get it backwards... We focus on disliking the sinner instead of focusing on disliking the sin. No wonder we struggle with community, and divorce, and depression and loneliness. What if we were to look at that person and truly believe that he or she is doing the best they are able? What if we were able to look at that person and truly believe that they are not intentionally trying to “poke the bear”, but that is just who they are and how they are made to be based on the life they have lived…and that they are perfectly fine-just as they are!

Who are we to fix another human?…We don’t know their life and all that they have struggled through to get to where they are now. We must accept them and love them as they are….and we must set boundaries on their behavior…not on their presence in our lives.

In an activity used to build empowerment in community, an exercise was done where friends stood in a circle. The first prompt for everyone was to share what they liked most about a particular friend. The second prompt was to share what they each found most challenging about the same friend. The result: Each person who shared a strength and a challenge ended up sharing the same attribute. What people liked most about their friend was also what they like least about their friend.

Action Step: Notice what you like least about the person in front of you, and then notice what you like most. It is likely they are different perspectives of the same attribute. Then choose to focus on the positive aspects of that attribute. You have the intelligence, the wisdom, and the power to decide to love (or at least like) the person in front of you. Liking and loving others says so much more about you than it does about others…and the wonderful benefit is that you will be a happier person for living that way!

The Shoulding Season…Continued

 

Why is shoulding so problematic? Shoulding helps us to stay motivated, to have direction, to be reminded of what is right and wrong, to keep us focused on our goals, and to have integrity. Much good comes from shoulding.

Shoulding is that behavior connected to the sentence starter  "I or we should or should not”….”She or he should or should not”.

 

The problem with shoulding is that we do it subconsciously… about everything… towards everyone. We can never keep up with aspirations inspired by our shoulding. Others cannot either. Behind shoulding behaviors are a lot of hidden rules and un-communicated hopes. Shoulding leads to expectations that you put on yourself and others. Many of these expectations are not recognized, are not communicated, and are not realistic. They put a lot of stress on the individuals who are being should upon and they steal from the joy. Shoulding creates a lot of busyness, and causes a lot of arguments, disappointments, feelings of failure, and feelings of anger. 

 Shoulding is a form of perfectionism and control…and in life there are a lot of things out of our control, that just can’t be rectified through shoulding. Shoulding makes up feel less than, incompetent, never good enough. Shoulding is failure waiting to happen…shoulding is the building block of resentment.

Action Step: So how do we stop Shoulding? The first step is to recognize it. The next time you get angry…stop! Ask yourself the following question!  Who am I shouding on? What am I Shoulding of them? Is what I am Shoulding realistic? Fair? Something I SHOULD have control over or a say in?

If you need to let go of something you just shoulded…may the following words give you comfort…

God (or whatever Higher Power you look towards)

Grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can.


If you find yourself needing additional assistance with anger related to shoulding… please contact me to schedule an appointment. ahoughton@wales.counseling.com or 469-248-7671

Thanksgiving: The Shoulding Season Has Arrived

Thanksgiving… For so many it is a favorite holiday! Family travels long distance to get together, laugh, eat, commemorate…  There are traditional activities and traditional foods. This is the coveted time of the year. 

For so many others, however, this is anything but true. Thanksgiving is the beginning of the depression season. Family avoids each other, or get together to fight and commiserate. Family, for them, is not a place of safety and warmth, but of intense conflict and painful memories. This season is a reminder of struggles, loneliness, and disappointments. 

In both scenarios, the holiday season has begun and the shoulding season is open for business. Shoulding often gets out of control during this time of year. Regardless of whether you have the family in the first scenario, or in the second scenario, or somewhere in between, some shoulding is likely to happen.

Shoulding is that behavior connected to the sentence starter  "I or we should or should not”….”She or he should or should not”. Behind shoulding behaviors are a lot of hidden rules and un-communicated hopes. Shoulding leads to expectations that you put on yourself and others. Many of these expectations are not recognized, are not communicated, and are not realistic. They put a lot of stress on the individuals who are being should upon and they steal from the joy of this time of year. Shoulding creates a lot of busyness, and causes a lot of arguments, disappointments, feelings of failure, and feelings of anger. 

Action Step: Remember what is important about this season. Avoid making long “to do” lists and focus on longer “to be with” lists. Don’t assume everyone is as blessed as you are to have family, and loved ones to reach out to during the holiday season. This season is special because of the relationships we can grow, not because of the gifts we can give. Reach out to someone who may be alone and offer the gift of friendship  because this will truly make a holiday one worth coveting. 



Thanksgiving: Friends, Family, Football, Food, and...Fights?!!

The holidays are upon us. Thanksgiving is in less than two weeks. For many it is a favorite holiday. Family, friends, football, food…what could go wrong? For many Thanksgiving is not a time of joy and cheer. Holidays bring out the best and worst in people. Over the next weeks I will be blogging on the challenges of the Holiday season in hopes that this will encourage a more mindful approach to the stresses people experience in this joyous time of year.

Today is an ode to that relative or guest that has to always be right.

Do you know somebody who is always right? Everybody believes their right. Clearly we would not do or believe in something if we were wrong. 

But I mean do you know somebody who is ALWAYS right? What I am referring to is  that  person in your life, who is willing to go down kicking and fighting and take down everyone within a 50 foot perimeter to win every single argument… so you clearly understand that they are right and that is the only thing that should matter to everyone in the room- kind of right. Yes…we all have met this person at one time or another. Maybe we have even been that person at one time or another.

Just think of that person for a moment. What thoughts come to mind when you think of that person? Are we feeling warm thoughts of “I just can’t wait to see them soon”, or “Thanksgiving is going to be extra special since we are going to be spending the whole day together- warm kind of fuzzy feeling”…or do you try to avoid them or having any discussion with them that will lead to just one more of those right vs wrong, my way or the highway debates?

There is a heavy price for needing to be right. The cost of being right is not only happiness, but can also be loneliness, anger, and altercations. Not only do you ostracize everyone around you, there is no win here. To be right means that someone else has to be wrong. You win, they lose. A win-lose is a lose for everyone. Only a win-win is a win. The only way to win is not to be so focused on demanding to be right.

Action step: You have to choose which battles to pack and which battlefield you are ready to die on. Before you go into battle, ask yourself “Do I need to be right this time?” Are you willing to sacrifice happiness for being right? Are you willing to sacrifice your friend or family member’s happiness to be right?  It is a heavy price to pay.

Judgment vs Truth

Have you ever had a friend or a family member that you just can’t trust to be truthful? Their perception of the event is not something that can be explained by the way they see the world…they just can’t tell the truth. They can’t even tell the truth to themselves. They are so stuck on the story of how it should be or how they want it to be that they just don’t know or see the truth. Sometimes people are only able to hear or see what they want or are capable of hearing or seeing and anything outside that realm is not recognizable.  Sometimes people just  lack insight and awareness. Sometimes people are compelled to not tell the truth. And the truth of the matter is that nobody is able to tell the same story twice in the identical way…unless they are reading it.

Truth is subjective… there is the personal truth that might not be true for everyone but it is truth for the person who has experienced walking through the life they’ve been given.  Their perspective and personal experience has led them to see the world as they do, given the facts they have been exposed to.  Understanding that this truth is experienced by everyone, and lacks all the answers is essential in overcoming communication gaps between people over the topic of truth, honest, right, and wrong. Two people can be present in the identical moment, and experience the event in two very different and yet honest ways.

Then there is shared truth...a truth that belongs to a group of people with a shared experience but again might not be truth for everyone. People outside that group have not experienced it, so they are incapable of understanding or acknowledging it without an empathic effort. Oppression, racism, and gender inequalities are examples of this.  White privilege is a unique example of this in that the people inside the group are unaware of the benefits, but those outside the group are very aware that that truth exists.

And then there is Truth. Something bigger than what people are able to see, It includes knowledge of all the interactions, emotions, intentions, and perspectives related to the event. No human can truly arrive at Truth.  They can only see, hear, know, understand, and have privy to their own version of the truth twisted by what they are able, and what they are willing to interpret, based on their own  experience, wisdom, and history. 

Truth is always changing. As people become enlightened, educated, and empowered with new ideas and insights, their own version of the truth grows and changes. Over time, active truth seekers attempt to grow towards THE Truth. But truly nobody can be 100% honest, and nobody can know THE Truth.

Many relationships have failed to endure because individuals’ truths are unable to align.  Many wounds and heartaches have been caused by assumptions and misunderstandings. We must be careful to practice more empathy and less judgment. We must learn to listen and see and understand with the eyes of each individual, if we want to care for others, and if we care about how we respond to and respect others in this world. 

Action Step:  Who, in your circle of friends and or family, do you struggle to understand?  I challenge you to take 15 minutes to listen to their story and learn 3-5 new truths about them.  Look for the positive strengths that person has as you listen to them.  You may learn a whole new perspective to their truth when you see them through s lens of understanding and empathy.  

Here’s to building better relationships!

Comparison: Thief of Joy, Source of Shame

There is the saying “Comparison is the thief of joy”, but it steals much more than that.  When we compare, we focus on our subconscious deficits. We acknowledge and focus on what we don’t have that someone else does have.  We even at times start to “should” ourselves into believing we should have or should be like this person we are focusing on. We start putting unrealistic expectations on ourselves. When we don’t match up, we find ourselves feeling like we have failed. So comparing steals our sense of worth, our self -love, our own understanding of our strengths, and our acknowledgment of what we bring to the world.  We start to invite shame into our belief system about ourselves. “Shame is that warm feeling that washes over us, making us feel small, flawed, and never good enough” -Brene Brown. 

Subconsciously we respond to shame by building up shame shields or walls to protect ourselves from feeling so “less than”.  According to Dr. Hartling, we deal with shame using three different coping behaviors: We move away-hiding, silencing ourselves, keeping secrets, disappearing; We move towards-people pleasing, trying to appease; and we move against- We fight shameless shame, we build up the shame shields or walls to protect ourselves and make ourselves feel bigger and others feel smaller.  Things like being judgemental, arrogant, a braggart, overly proud, a one upper, narcissistic, and attention seeking are behaviors employed to offset shame.  

Everybody has experienced shame and everybody has used these poor coping skills to deal with shame. They are employed subconsciously, initially and until one learns the purpose of the behavior’s function, they continue to be employed.  The worst part about using these shame shields is, the more one uses them, the more shame grows within them, and the more they need to use them.   I repeat people use shame shields to protect themselves from the outside world and the shame they experience, but by using them, they do not protect themselves from the person who is causing their shame too grow… their self.   

First steps: Put your measuring stick away. Focus on your strengths and the wonderful gifts you bring to the world everyday. Be grateful for who you are and how you serve in the world.  If there are things that you need to work on, aspire to be the best you, that you can be. 

Action step: Start noticing if you have behaviors you are not proud of.  Do you act arrogant in situations and think to yourself,  “Just stop!”? Do you find yourself being judgemental or bragging too much, and think “Why did I do that?”  Incongruent living is exhausting. It  pushes people away, so it is also lonely.

There is hope!  Therapists help people to overcome the struggle with shame through shame resilience training.

Www.counseling.com