Tag Archives: Insight

From Breakdowns to Breakthroughs

If you’re in the middle of what seems to be a breakdown, hang on – your breakthrough is coming. If you seek it, you’ll find it.

That’s the beauty of wisdom. It’s there, sometimes hidden behind a bunch of hurts and painful memories. Perhaps it is shrouded by a busy life. So busy you can’t see the forest for the trees.

Wisdom is waiting for you, and with it is the clarity that comes from a breakthrough.

If you’re in need of a breakthrough and have used all the tools in your toolbox (talking to good friends, meditation, listening to You Tube videos on the topic, yada yada yada) maybe it’s time to bring in reinforcements.

Funny sidebar: I often get private messages from Facebook friends asking for advice on our Word of the Week messages. I always preface any answer with, “Please keep in mind I am not a licensed therapist…”

While I’ve learned a bunch from the school of hard knocks and good books, I’m not qualified to give counsel to anyone.

I have great regard for those whose love for people and genuine desire to impact lives for good resulted in their pursuit of professional counseling as their life’s work. One of my most favorite people in the world is Anna Coker, who has one of the biggest hearts known to man and uses her sensitivity, kindness, skill, and insight to help people heal.

From my past experience, finding a good therapist is often like going on a series of bad dates until you meet “the one.”

There was the guy whose first instinct was to write me a prescription for Zoloft, which may be helpful for some, but simply numbed me to what was REALLY needing attention. And the woman who was so rigidly religious in her world view she couldn’t hear anything outside of it. Not to mention the toxic horror stories from my past church/cult life, where my deepest hurts were manipulated to control my life and rob me of my individuality.

And yes, some unqualified victims like myself were “made” counselors. I’ve already done that apology tour.

Church/cult experience aside, the other detours into less than helpful therapy still had some value.

Kissing the frogs helps you identify the prince (or princess) when he or she comes along.

Just like finding the best restaurant in town and wanting everyone to taste that particular, pillowy gnocchi, so too, when you find a great therapist, you (I) want people to know about them.

Sanna Carapellotti came to me miraculously through my writing coach, who recognized I had hit a creative wall. And he was sensitive enough to realize it had nothing to do with the book I was writing.

I followed this link to arrange a free, fifteen-minute consultation to see if we both felt she could help me. I knew within one minute that this was a “no BS” yet non-traditional therapist who could guide me to the answers. Her philosophy? You have everything you need inside of you. The answers lie within you. Sometimes you just need a little help to reveal them.

I went into the session thinking I knew exactly what the problem was. Which was, of course, someone else. THEY were the problem.

The tricky think about problems involving other people? You can’t change THEM. You can only change YOU and how you respond to life (and them).

Through a combination of skillful questions, interrupted by breathing exercises, guided meditation, tapping – you name it – we got there.

Oh boy, we GOT there.

My revelation came and it was truly like a light-bulb going off.

Just as profound as my Costa Rica Iboga journey, during which I saw myself shut down after my father’s death – unable to express or even be in touch with my feelings – this time I went further back.

To the incubator.

Born one month premature, I went immediately to isolation, hooked up on tubes and fighting for my life. Isolation separated me from human touch and the nurturing comfort a baby craves when entering this world.

I cried in…isolation.

Long after I finally made weight and could finally join my family, this deep-seated fight for survival stayed with me.

A pit-bull like fear ready to pounce on perceived threats and consuming endless energy has been my companion for these 56 years. This pit bull served me well, mind you. I appreciate its fighting spirit at the start and also at various junctures of my life when I truly fought for survival.

It’s such a relief to realize I don’t need to fight for something I already have.

My life is mine. I made it. I am fine.

No longer do I seek something I didn’t get those first few weeks of life from people or organizations or even my profession.

Unpacking childhood trauma makes the baggage of life much lighter.

And that’s the Reader’s Digest version.

Dear readers, I feel so free! So unplugged from negative energy!

It’s such a release to have clarity about why I have felt certain things and responded so extremely to perceived threats all of my life.

Remarkably, I’m not so touchy anymore!

Those same people who bugged the #$%@ out of me? I now feel empathy for them; even love.

Everyone’s story is different. This happens to be mine. What I can say is that help is available. And I hope you, too, love yourself enough to head off your breakdown and head toward your own breakthrough.

Interestingly, I recorded this week’s message BEFORE my session with Sanna. I think you will see a different, more relaxed face in upcoming video messages. How prophetic the new Word of the Week turned out to be!

https://youtu.be/YpGgKZinVRw

If you’ve hit a wall, EXPLORE the why.

If you are intrigued by my visit with Sanna, she has graciously offered a free gift, “The Healing Heart” to any of you who reach out to her and mention my name, Brenda Viola.

To your breakthrough!

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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Understanding Takes Time (So Relax)

Can you think back to a time in your life when you thought, “I wish I knew THEN what I know NOW?” Or, “What was I THINKING when I did THAT?”

The person who invents a working crystal ball would make a killing on Shark Tank. (Mr. Wonderful would never call it poo-poo on a stick.)

But would we really want to know everything before it plays out?

I did what I did (and you did what you did) working with what I knew at the time.

As my favorite Maya Angelou quote goes, “When you know better, you DO better.”

Oh how I wish I understood that my time in high school would have been better spent studying or participating in activities rather than hiding from cliques and crushing on boys who never gave me the time of day.

If I understood that my time in college would rush by, hoisting me into the working world for the REST OF MY LIFE, would I not have savored it more? Instead, I finished in 3.5 years so I could get out there and start making a living. (Which was $75 a WEEK at the local cable TV station.)

Would I have taken the QVC job had I known I’d be laid off less than half a year later?

Or would I have joined that church if I had known it would be a destructive cult?

Would I have married my ex if I knew fourteen years later the marriage would end?

Well, in a way I’m glad I didn’t have a crystal ball. Because there’s no more captivating entry on my resume than that QVC experience. I made the best friends of my life – to this DAY – in that church. And my ex and our journey together got me to where I am now, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Time offers clarity of perspective sans the pain of the experience.

No, we wouldn’t have chosen some of the pain, but it sure was used for GOOD, ultimately.

What I do understand is that all things work together for good, aka, “Everything’s always working out for me.”

I bemoaned to a counselor once, “What about all the wasted years??? Is it too late for me???”

Her reply: “What was wasted if you learned from it? And while you have breath, is it ever too late?”

Some of you may be going through stuff you simply can’t understand right now. Give it time. Clarity, and with it, understanding, will come.

And in the meantime, look back over your shoulder and consider the mountains you’ve climbed; the dark tunnels that eventually flooded with light – and know that this, too, shall pass.

https://youtu.be/OKiV59jZNOM

How lovely that in this two week span that includes Valentine’s Day, the angels are asking you to consider BEAUTY. I’m looking forward to digging into that word over the next two weeks.

Until then,

LOVE, LOVE and more LOVE –

Brenda

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