A little while ago, a lady asked me, full of frustration, why she can’t see the “half full” of the glass and feel “as she should”, joy and gratitude for what she experiences in life and not feel powerlessness, insecurity, guilt, disappointment caused by the strained relationship with bosses and clients!

I yawned in amazement at her totally unrealistic expectations and thought to myself, it is possible that sometimes we lose the freshness and meaning of these “negative” experiences!

Being strong and self-confident doesn’t mean that nothing can touch you, that you remain impenetrable and rock-solid in the face of life’s turmoil. In my opinion, this perception can be an insidious trap into which we risk sinking, with no time for self-reflection and discernment and being far too besieged by clear ‘recipes’ to follow in order to become happy, fulfilled, confident, successful and, of course, free of nagging negative emotions.

In many situations, especially when we get caught up in such catch-all recipes, quick and easy antidotes to sadness and hopelessness, we seem to begin to feel ashamed of ourselves, to feel “incompetent” because we are sad, disappointed, worried about prospects, shaken and stunned by the mix and intensity of these emotions which, after all, confront us with our natural and human vulnerability.

I confess that for many years, especially in the early period of my professional training, I experienced a harsh and heavy guilt whenever events in my life troubled me, destabilized me and put me to sleep for a while. Always searching for answers, I eventually learned that my emotions were normal, natural brain responses, like it’s natural to hurt from a blow or bleed from a wound.

And these emotions take time to be “metabolized soulfully,” just as an open wound, no matter how small, takes up to five days to heal, even under treatment. Emotions need, for healing, to be cared for, i.e. listened to, acknowledged, understood in their meaning, shared, soothed, and the good consequence of these soul wounds is the compulsion to look responsibly at yourself/self.

Come to think of it, what I have gained in my personal development endeavours has been precisely the permission to feel worthy, not only with my performances and qualities, but also together with my vulnerabilities, limitations, difficulties and failures!

In a way, running away from myself to change myself for another, I still found myself, but seen from a new, more compassionate, more comprehensive, more natural, more liberating perspective!

Life is not just half a glass, either empty or full, but a whole in a continuous dynamic, sometimes fuller (even too full), sometimes emptier (even too empty). Sometimes it’s enough for someone to listen to us to relieve us of the burden, the heavy and draining energy of our emotions. At other times, a chorus from a song, a line from a film or an article from a magazine can change our perspective and awaken our own resources from numbness and oblivion.

Sometimes, we feel trapped like in a viscous sea, in our frustrations and sorrows and nothing seems to be able to pull us out of this state. Then, as was the case with me, maybe you need something other than what you tried on your own, specialist support.

Of course, whichever path you choose for yourself, it can be a long and arduous endeavour or a short one. But remember that it’s your path to wellness that will help you fill in the halves you feel or see, both empty and full!…

Isabela ALEXANDRU, Personal Development Counsellor- 0723.30.36.97