Elements of Personal Peace
It is time for me to leave this chapter of my life and move forward into retirement. It is a new chapter that will need to be navigated. As I prepare to move on, I would like to share some reflections on what I have learned from the last 32 years of being a social worker/therapist.
I have recognized that the strength which is born out of an individual’s adversity astounds me. I have walked the journey with you of shock, discovery, mourning,regret, anger and finally the glimmer of healing that is to come. I am amazed at the courage it took to embrace those feelings and the courage it took to let go of the pain. I am equally in awe of your ability to have the strength not to give up but to go forward and write a new story for
In these last years, I have witnessed five elements that again and again seem to lend a sense of hope to one’s life, an ability to cope with difficult circumstances and act as a catalyst to finding a new joy. Those elements are connection, love, gratitude,choice and the presence of a North Star.
Connection is gained through a set of beliefs or interests that attach us to others. With connection comes a sense
of belonging, a heightened sense of purpose and meaning and a decrease in isolation and loneliness. Connection can
be experienced on a smaller scale such as belonging to a club or feeling at one with all humanity. The scale does not matter.What is gained is knowing that you are not alone in the world and others value your thoughts and feelings.
Love encompasses more than romance. Love and acceptance of our human condition, love for humanity, love for being alive, love of nature, family and the higher existence of the universe and what it encompasses, are all forms of love. Our ability to put forth a genuine caring and concern for others due to our love for them can take us out of our own pain and worry for a time. Love can strengthen our sense of connection as well.
Gratitude is a state of both thinking and feeling that keeps us focused on what we have been given, and what we have learned from both positive and negative experiences. It is a way of being satisfied with your current circumstances even if they are not exactly where one would like to be. It is less of a question of, “Why did this happen to me?” as opposed to “Why did this happen for me”? Being grateful is also gaining an ability to look around at the smallest of things and to find a way to be humbled by what you have observed.
Choice can be one of the most powerful concepts in one’s life. No matter the adversity, the current deep well of pain we might feel, horrific experiences of the past or even of current circumstances,as adults, we do not have to see these situations as permanent fixtures in our lives. Choice implies movement. We are allowed through attitude or action to go into a different situation or mindset. We do not need to allow others to be in control of our ability to find peace. Sometimes the choices are not as attractive as we would like them to be but choice brings hope that we are the prisoner of no one.
The North Star has always been used by sailors as a guiding point/reference in navigation. Just as the physical North Star has the ability to guide sailors across the sea, so does the discovery of a conceptual North Star in our lives provide a type of guidance for human direction. Humans seem to have a sense of fulfillment when they discover their own reason for being. Finding a personal purpose and meaning to life at times requires a framework of belief. For some, their North Star will be the universe and they will view it as their creator/giver. Others may adopt a framework of religion. Others may embrace eastern traditions or philosophies as their North Star and follow the principals of those philosophies. Whatever the choice, these belief systems help to develop an understanding of one’s sense of purpose and meaning. This concept has lent an acceptance of an ‘otherness’ in the human condition that can strive for greater healing and unity in one’s life.
As I retire, I find myself shifting gears. I am in the process of moving these 5 elements into a new setting of my own and exploring how to continue to learn anew and to grow as I start to write this new story for myself.
I want to thank each one of you who reached out over the years for help on your own piece of the journey. Seeking help is never easy. Trusting a therapist you’ve never met is even more difficult. For all of those who did, I have forever been enriched by your presence and your trust. To be a witness to your strength and courage and to be with
you in your growth has been a gift I will forever be grateful for.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Mental Health Practitioner
Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
- Dorothy Molczyk, LMHP LADC, provides individual, family and group therapy at Wholeness Healing Center. She is experienced in serving children, adolescents and adults. Her areas of specialty include substance abuse/dependency, healing from traumatic events, recovering from loss, and behavior disorders in children and adolescents.
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