"You don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking."
~ Maya Angelou

April 12, 2013

What Are You Holding On To?

by Daniel Jacob, MSW: Founder of Can You Hear Me?

As my thoughts turn into words I am empowered with another opportunity to help you help yourself!  The inspiration to share this week came my way after receiving the quote (and intended message) you will notice to the left.  So I ask, what are you holding on to?  We all find ourselves in this state at times, it's not something that any one person is void of.  However, what differs amongst us varies; what triggers it, how we act upon it, and how we cope with it to name a few.  Some would imagine that just because you're in a role (and career) that helps others manage their own, that you may not really have any of your...  Well, we know that is not the case and thus I digress.

When you work as a helping professional you are exposed to so many influences and triggers that often can produce this said emotion, and often times it's not even at a conscious level when it arrives.  So, I ask what are you holding on to?  When you recognize what it is and how you can live with it while learning from it, you move forward.  None of this can be true if you are not living and breathing (in and out of your professional role) well, which equates to your self-care and well-being.  You see, when you take the necessary steps to be well, you are more than likely in that space and place where you want to be well, believe you can and thus commit to the necessary work.  Does this mean you will never experience moments when you are confronted with this emotion (that we all visit from time to time)?  No, what this means is that when you experience such you will most likely be aware and mindful of the what, how and why, and thus your ability to address it in a healthy manner will be much more manageable to access.  Sounds pretty straightforward, but as we do sometimes, we can complicate the process and this is when challenge stays around longer than it has to...

You can't always control the situation, but once again there is much that you can control.  It begins with a determination to be on the page that has you thinking for the right thing without overthinking the moment.  If you are with my intention, then just maybe the next time you are faced with the emotion that you just can't avoid, you will understand where you are at in a much more clear manner and see exactly what are you holding on to? 

We are exposed to some very complex and ingrained stressors within our efforts to help others change for the better.  With that we take on more than we know at times, and as we attempt to breathe and exhale we don't always see the support necessary to help one move forward.  Does this mean there is none to find?  No, what it means is that you first must be available to see it, and then you must strive to find and create what will only help you help yourself.  We are all works in progress, and If we choose to look at our life as such then we are able to embrace any and all stressors that present themselves, including that story from the past, the one that is rarely shared but can continue to present challenges if not dealt with appropriately.  Those that are familiar with my writing understand that what I choose to point out is influenced by living through it and learning from it, in addition to what I have observed through the lens of a social worker that cares about his fellow helping professional.  You see, often one's inability to give and provide in a positive, effective and sustainable manner is not due to a lack of skill, desire or passion, it's most likely a result of what are you holding on to?

As you transition into your weekend stay strong, stand up and stay up.  No matter where you are at, or what you just can't seem to shake, opportunity is waiting as long as you can see it!

About Author

Daniel Jacob, MSW Email 
Founder of Can You Hear Me? External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work MSW@USC. Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work). He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process.  
More about the man behind the mission ⇢

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