Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'm Aggressive with my Love. And my Dance Moves.

There's a trendy song on the radio right now (I love me some trendy radio) that has the lyrics, "shut up and dance." As someone who thinks that a five second dance party is the solution to most pressing problems, these lyrics move me.

Abba also moves me, to the point that a cruise boat full of people once felt moved to cheer for me, but that's another story for another day. Combine Abba and a five second dance party, and I might be out of a job.

My serious dance skills aside, I've recently been convicted of something important, and yes, it all ties together with dancing in my kooky brain. 

I was having my end of semester review at one of my internship sites and my supervisor told me that I had one major area of growth. GAH. My anxiety riddled brain immediately jumped to the conclusion that my one growth area must be ALL THE THINGS (come back Allie Brosh, we miss you!). In an amazing showing of anxiety dexterity, by the time he finished his sentence I already had figured out my plan B plan because obviously I was getting kicked out. 

I'll quit my job and live in my nest, because obviously I'm not fit for civilized society, and if I never go out then I'll never spend money so it's fine that I'm inherently a bum and can't do anything right and maybe people will come up with some good story about whatever happened to me, like, "I bet she ran away to join the circus and she's the bearded woman," I guess plan C can be to join the circus and become the bearded woman, I can buy a fake beard, no one will know, but hopefully that nest plan works out because I never want to show my face again THE SHAME THE SHAME ::mental gasp::

Spoiler. I didn't get kicked out. My area of growth was giving myself credit and acknowledging that I am a good counselor. Eeeeeesh. 

Some context. I was the type of kid who often did things my own way (which most of the time was the against the rules way), and I was frequently in trouble. BUT, my parents rarely had to worry about punishment for me, because I am my own worst critic. Who needs to give a lecture when your child already covered all the bases?

Example A: I was in trouble, rightfully so I can only assume, and was sent to my room. My mom and grandmother were talking in the kitchen and my mom smelled something funky. She asked my grandmother, "does something smelled spoiled?" And I yelled from my room, in a miserable voice, "IT'S ME!"

You're welcome Mom and Dad, for doing your job for you. And sorry I was such a little ahole. 

So, obviously, giving myself credit is for sure, a growth area.

I've used this blog before to talk about my intense dislike of shame. I realized as I was talking to my supervisor that there is more to this battle I feel compelled to fight than just speaking against shame. And that is promoting pride and general hullabalooing about the good things.

I need to shut up and dance.

It's not enough to just stop the negative talk, to speak against the bullies, to fight the good fight, I need to own who I am, feel inspired by how I am made, and engage in general celebratory rump shaking. 

I am a good counselor. Heck, one day, I might be great counselor. SHA POW. 

As many of you know, I've had a tough couple years. This semester things got real bad physically for me which waterfalled in to all the areas. I had to dig deep just to get out of bed in the morning, because I felt so crappy. I felt like a complete fraud in the counseling room, because I wasn't even sure if my shoes matched. My supervisor has told me, things have significantly improved since then, that he was worried I was going to quit because he could tell how bad things were for me. 

But I didn't. And, I still was an effective counselor. The moral of the story is that even when I am forced to operate on autopilot, I can do good therapy. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and part of that make up is empathetic listening, genuine caring, and appropriate insight, I was made to be a counselor. Too dramatic?

Sure, it's hard to write. My negative self talk wants to add all the buts (seriously, shoes are hard), but that doesn't change the facts. I have talents and skills and God is using me. KA BAM.

So my challenge to you. What is amazing about you? What can you say with no buts? What about yourself makes you want to crow like Peter Pan? What makes you make generic comic book noises?

It may not be your career, it might a hobby, a talent, a skill. There is something spectacular about you and you should yell it from the roof tops! And by roof tops, in this particular situation, I mean leave it in the comments. What better place to start practicing loving who you are and how you were made but the anonymity of the internets? YOU'RE WELCOME.