Embracing the human experience

That’s a wrap! Reflecting on everything we’ve learned from our guests and ourselves during season three.
Embracing the human experience
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Have you listened to the season finale yet? If not, you might have missed something I’m pretty excited about:

I’m on this week’s episode!

I had a blast talking with Darryl and Michelle as we wrapped the season. I got to share a bit about myself and everything that I’ve been learning over these last few months.

For this blog, I wanted to focus on a big part of our conversation. As you’ll hear me share, I started counseling just a few months before I started writing these reaction blogs. It’s transformed the ways I listen to each episode. Counseling has also helped me identify wisdom and truths that I never would have noticed before.

Yet, funnily enough, I didn’t start counseling for typical self-work. I wasn’t even trying to learn more about myself. I just wanted to find a better way to manage my time and responsibilities so I wouldn’t be playing catch-up all the time.

Oh, how the person who handled my form must have laughed.

It didn’t take long to realize that poor time management wasn’t the reason I couldn’t keep up with life’s demands. I wasn’t at the end of my rope because I had more on my plate. There were no tips and tricks that my counselor could teach me to solve these problems easily.

I was burning out because I had been using my time, energy, mind, and body as a commodity.

Rather than seeing myself as something valuable that deserved respect, boundaries, and the right to feel things, I was an open faucet, ready to pour into anyone or anything that came by.

Thankfully, misguided assumptions aside, I finally made my first appointment. In the past seven months, I’ve learned more about myself than I ever imaged. There’s been healing where I didn’t know there was hurt. I’ve become thankful for who I am, a beautifully flawed being who I’m finally nurturing and feeding the way I’ve always needed.

If you have been thinking about getting professional help or simply yearning for a way to ground yourself through life’s chaos, I hope my story encourages you to give counseling a try. Everyone can benefit from it. Period. 

For more tangible encouragement, I wanted to share some of my favorite revelations from counseling.

Giving yourself grace is one of the hardest and most important things you can do

You will always be your harshest critic. You will always be meaner/more awkward/dumber/uglier/more off-putting/etc. from your perspective than from any other’s. 

<tweet-link>When you are constantly putting yourself down, you have no way to grow, improve, and succeed.<tweet-link> At least, not by any standards you set.

For me, giving grace meant accepting my humanity. Everyone says embarrassing things. No one does everything right the first time. You can never please everyone because people don’t work like that.

Now, I’m learning to challenge negative self-talk. As I’ve mentioned before, my counselor likes to say, “Would you talk to your friend or sister like that? Would you let someone else say it? So why are you saying it to yourself?”

Respecting myself sets the foundation for my approach to life. When I stop telling myself what I can’t do or don’t deserve, every day has more potential and beauty. I become someone I want to be around rather than someone I just can’t escape.

I’m learning to love myself, which also means accepting the things I feel.

Feelings are a sign of engagement

Google Docs just tried to auto-fill the header to “Feelings are a sign of weakness.” 

Yeah, no.

Darryl put it best in a recent episode when he said, “Feeling emotions is embracing the human experience.” The more numb you are to life, the less you are engaging with it. We all have a finite amount of living to do, so why waste it on a black-and-white version of the vibrant human experience?

Seek out your feelings and embrace them when they fill you. Even if a feeling isn’t the most appropriate reaction to a situation, you’re feeling it and that means its valid. 

I’m learning to intentionally recognize emotions, give them space, and let them work through me. As I do, I’m discovering how much more abundant life can be.

You will never stop learning about yourself

I am so excited to unwrap these layers of myself. I am going to be my closest companion throughout my years, so I want to know the person I’m growing into.

Whoever you are, you are also a person worthy of being known and loved so deeply. Counseling, though it’s not the only way, is a great place to start.

Until next season, my friends, peace!

Get the full story here to get some BTS peeks at the podcast, hear more about my journey, and learn what we all loved about this season.

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Emily Finlay
Emily Finlay is a freelance copywriter who thrives working with a great team and moonlights as an amateur home baker. Throughout her career, she’s had the pleasure of working with clients of all sizes, from local businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Aunt to eight nieces and nephews, she loves freelancing for the time it allows her to spend with her family and friends. When she’s not puzzling over the perfect word, she enjoys taking long walks, geeking out over her many interests, and trying new decorating techniques for cakes and cookies.
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