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Famous Quotes Explained - "The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I change." ~~Carl Rogers

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Famous Quotes Explained - "The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I change." ~~Carl Rogers

"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I change."

~Carl Rogers

(This quote and the following reference can be found in his book: On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy.)

What do you mean I will change after I accept myself...  AS I AM (gasp!)?   This is a difficult concept for so many and it may even feel impossible to others.  Self loathing abounds in our culture; dislike or even disgust are much more familiar feelings than self-acceptance and self-love are.  As a result, the idea of self-acceptance as means to usher in change can feel hardly believable.

Carl Rogers explains, "I find I am more effective when I can listen accepantly to myself, and can be myself.  I feel that over the years I have learned to become more adequate in listening to myself; so that I know, somewhat more adequately than I used to, what I am feeling in any given moment ... One way of putting this is that I feel I have become more adequate in letting myself be what I am.  It becomes easier for me to accept myself as a decidedly imperfect person, who by no means functions at all times in the way in which I would like to function. This must seem to some like a very strange direction in which to move.  It seems to me to have value because the curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I change." (p.17)

Because we are forever looking at what we want to improve, where we want to be, and what steps we must take to get there, our energy is being spent and our thoughts are being focused on what we are not, where we are not, and how far we have to go to get there.  This focusing upon the negative and carrying around the excess weight of non-acceptance often acts as a block to progress or causes increased resistance to change. 

In other words, climbing a mountain is hard enough but can be rendered impossible if too much energy is expended unwisely! (Click to Tweet)

Try to accept who you are today (and perhaps the next day and the next day, etc.).  Drop the resistance and the negativity and see what opportunities arise naturally when you are clear, present, positive, and a bit more confident - Change may come a bit easier!

~~Michelle Cleary, LCSW

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The Irregular Path of Trauma

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The Irregular Path of Trauma

Just like water streaming down a window pane whose path is jagged and irregular because of unseen obstacles, ones' emotional path related to the tragic events of September 11, 2001 may also seem jagged or irregular.  Feelings of grief, anger, disbelief, isolation, disorientation, and sadness may come and go in an apparently random pattern.


And some may wonder why after 14 years these feelings are at times worse instead of better.   


The effects of trauma, especially mass trauma such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, can be hard to understand or predict and can be escalated by other life situations.  Firefighters who have since retired may be feeling an increase in depression, feelings of "life disorientation", and guilt as their role in the firehouse has changed.  There is more time to think about the events and lost friends without the responsibilities associated with being "on the job".  Parents whose children were too young to remember that day may feel frustrated or angry when their 13 year old can't understand the annual early September morning struggle.  Feelings of deep regret may resurface as time insensitively marches on and details of loved ones are very unintentionally forgotten.  A friend may be guilt ridden when they acknowledge that they just can't make it to another memorial.  Anger may set in when less flags are flying or when interacting with a person who has seemingly "forgotten". 

Feelings may increase or decrease, pop up in unexpected places, or go suddenly numb and detach.
It is so important to keep in mind that
while time certainly does heal, it doesn't always heal in a straight line. (Click to Tweet)
So, be gentle and forgiving with yourselves, support your family, be sensitive to your neighbors, reach out to your friends, and be a little extra kind to your fellow commuters ... because 14 years doesn't necessarily mean the hurt is all gone.

With Much Love,
Michelle Cleary, LCSW

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Night Eating Syndrome

Is grabbing a midnight snack really such a big deal? For many, occasionally giving in to a late night craving for chocolate or some leftovers costs them no more than an extra 10 minutes on the treadmill and a little bit of guilt. But for others, midnight snacking is a nightly ritual that goes far beyond simple cravings and minor bouts of guilt.

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