”I just cant help it, It’s who I am” This sentiment is often mixed with frustration, guilt and shame. When we identify with a problem as being part of who we are,
we are submitting to it, and to its effects on the people we care about. It is true that there are elements of ourselves that are crystalized, preferences that can not be changed, but these are not the source of the problems we face. The source of our problems is our thinking, and behavior, both of which can be, and ought to be changed. The struggles of life are aplenty believe me I’m aware of this fact. However, to succumb to a less than desirable habit of thought, emotion or behavior simply because the transition to a healthier and more productive one is difficult is the cause of our continued suffering.
Our society has moved away from seeking to be more virtuous and towards seeking to be more fulfilled. The unfortunate effect is that we have neither virtuous nor fulfilled individuals. The questions I ask my patients are, “who is truly happy with where they are at?” and “Who is truly happy with the direction they are moving?”
Let’s talk for a moment about seeking to increase our potential vs avoiding anxiety, stress, and sadness. Avoidance is very popular because it is easy, and
usually veiled as “Self-Acceptance”, but seeking validation is usually not a path towards meaningful positive change. Our current concept of “Self-acceptance” is
based on the idea that one is perfect just the way they are and there is no need for change of any kind. This is a deception, you are not perfect the way you are, you need to change for the better in some way. What is true is that you are infinitely valuable just the way you are and that can neither be taken away or enlarged as it is already infinite. This is what healthy self-acceptance looks like, and it is not unconditional external validation. One accepts our essence as wondrous, good and worthwhile, the other accepts our nature and what we do as a standard of good which is false.
You have a lot to offer the world, so you must not be hindered by the belief that you are perfect and in no need of change. Change your nature to reflect your
beautiful essence and accept nothing less.
Author: Cory M.J. Groman has been a practicing psychotherapist for the past 8 years. Cory received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and his Masters in counseling from Franciscan University of Steubenville, located in Steubenville, Ohio. Throughout his career, Cory has served in several leadership positions, including as the lead to the crisis response team while working with Talbert House in Cincinnati, Ohio. Most recently, he has served as Lead Therapist at Valley Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. He has also conducted research having been published in the journal of ADHD. He has served as faculty and written lectures for the American Physicians Institute for Advanced Professional Studies, a web-based learning center for the continuing education of medical professionals.