Colleen Koncilja, LCSW, CADC, ICGC-II, BACC | Blog
Transforming and Changing is Part of Our Journey
~ You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar
Trina Paulus

Recently, I saw the above quote, and it touched me in a profound way. Last month, I wrote about the Stages of Change, where I described the transitions and steps we take as we experience the process of change. I explained that during the change process, we identify the internal reasons and motivating factors that lead us toward and help us want to change. We contemplate and identify the pros and the gains of change and then we need to develop a willingness to give up the old and welcome the new.

The metamorphosis that a butterfly experiences includes a cocoon, pupa, or chrysalis stage. We often experience a similar stage when things are at a status quo, or even uneventful in our lives. When we experience this stage, we often feel safe, protected, and calm. It is when we think about changing, moving on, or transforming that we begin to feel vulnerable, unshielded, and anxious. The anew is filled with unknowns, vulnerabilities, risks, and often fear.

However, we can remind ourselves of the beauty and the freedom of a butterfly. Hence, the beauty and the freedom of our own anew, whether it's a new chapter in life, a new challenge, or a new relationship...it can bring us an opportunity to experience life in a whole new way. With every new experience and transition, our vantage point, lens, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings about ourselves and our lives alter, develop, and change.

It's how we grow. It is how we transition and transform. It is part of our life process. It's part of our journey. It is a profound, freeing, and beautiful process which unfolds within us.

Supporting You on Your Healing Quest
Do You Hear What I Hear?
Have you ever been in a conversation when someone was talking with another person and the person who was supposed to be listening to them, totally misinterpreted what the person was saying and confusion, anger, and hurt feelings resulted? This often happens between two partners when they have a lot of stress in their relationship. When this miscommunication happens they each may feel misunderstood, frustrated, unsupported, or defensive.

I see this often with couples who I counsel in my practice. Often their communication has been compromised with conflict, hurt feelings, fear, and insecurities and they do not and cannot hear what their partner is saying to them. Often, instead, they hear old stuff, they hear criticism, they hear rejection, they hear assumptions, they hear feelings they project, and most unfortunately they don't hear what is actually being said.

True listening is actually a difficult skill to master. We tend to think that listening is easy. I challenge you to think about when you are conversing with another person, how often you spend thinking about what you are going to say back, or, what you want to ask the other person, before they are even close to finishing what they are saying? Sometimes we listen really well, when the subject being discussed has nothing to do with us and we don't have much of an emotional charge about it. But when we do have an emotional charge about what is being talked about and it has something to do with us, it is easy to not hear a big part of what the other person is saying to us. We often jump to explanations and defensiveness, instead of listening and validating the thoughts and feelings of the person who is talking with us.

Sometimes we don't hear what they other person says, because we don't like what they are saying or we honestly don't want to hear it.
If we really hear wholeheartedly what they were communicating to us,

we may have to do something that is difficult
we may possibly feel some uncomfortable feelings
we may need to take responsibility for something we did that hurt the other person

These are just a few examples of what makes it difficult to stop talking and really listen.

We all need people to listen to us. We all need people to support us. How well do you hear and how well do you listen to others? What could you do to improve? It is something to think about....to ponder...to work on improving. Being heard is so important. It is a gift you can give to others. It is a gift I try to give to someone everyday.

Supporting You on Your Healing Quest
Accepting the Unexpected and the Unwanted
Someone close to me, is struggling with several health issues. She has been going to many specialists and has had multiple tests done. She has been feeling frustrated, afraid, worried, and powerless over what has been happening to her health and her body. She was recently diagnosed with a chronic disorder that may have a future full of pain, decompensation, physical challenges, multiple medications, and other systemic health consequences.

She is dealing with the very unexpected and something that is very unwanted.

Many of us deal with the unexpected at different times in our lives. We lose people who we love. We sustain injuries both physical and mental. We experience traumatic events. Bad things happen to us. We grieve. We get angry. We deny. We feel pain. We lose our balance. We are faced with the unwanted.

But through all the unexpected, painful, unwanted and disappointing things we experience through our journey, the one thing that is constant through it all, is that we are given choices about how we deal, accept, overcome, and heal from whatever happens to us. We get to choose if we...

lay down, quit, or give in...or if we

accept, problem solve, and cope...or if we

fight back, find hope, courage, and empowerment

At different times through our re-adjustment, we need to create a new normal. We may have those days that we don't want to give the world our all, but even if we experience tragedy and trauma in our lives, we still have choices on how we take care of ourselves...we can choose healing and positive changes, or we can give in and let the unexpected and the unwanted overwhelm and consume us.

In my first blog post, I quoted M. Scott Peck's The Roadless Traveled, "Life is difficult."

Life is full of the unexpected and unwanted. How you deal with it and work through it, is what truly matters. It speaks to who you are...your integrity, your strength, your commitment to yourself, your acceptance, your healing, and as a friend of mine would say, "what and how you choose to give back to the universe."

Supporting You on Your Healing Quest