By Jennifer Eulberg, MA, LPC
One of my colleagues sent this meme my way recently. I’m sure it’s familiar to many.
As I have contemplated this blog topic of “enough” (planned pre-pandemic), I have struggled with the certainty that nothing I can write in a few short paragraphs could ever be enough to address what we are all experiencing. Instead, I’m going to share my own sense of vulnerability and what I’m doing with it.
Frankly, I’m unsure. I’m back and forth. I feel just fine for a while and then sadness strikes. I’m providing support for others while experiencing self-doubt. Guilt comes in. I’m really tired. My thoughts and actions are unorganized. I’m eating so many carbs and chocolate, definitely chocolate. I move from being inspired to thoughts of “why bother?” I want nothing to do with news and then I go down the rabbit hole.
I also find myself laughing. Sometimes because it all starts to feel ridiculous, sometimes because it seems like a way to keep sadness at bay, and sometimes because I’m enjoying myself. That’s okay, right? If I’ve given you the impression I’m a typical human being – imperfect, confused, struggling, coping, and living – I’m glad. Leaning in to my human-ness is basically my “brand”. It’s the thing I’ve realized might be my biggest strength personally and professionally. I truly believe in authentic selves and connection through (appropriate) vulnerability.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt so in tune with the kind of counseling I do. I am simultaneously living the experience and feeling the feelings my clients are. I’m also giving myself the same encouragement and support. First—always first—is validation. I encourage you to validate your emotions. Realize there isn’t a right or wrong way to feel. Scared, worried, frustrated, sad, anxious, grieving, they are all valid. I feel those feelings and more, but then I take another step. I remind myself how many difficult situations I’ve survived. I remember what helped me get through. I think of the gratitude I have for my family, friends, and colleagues. I remind myself of times when I was sure I couldn’t possibly have all I needed, and yet, somehow, what I had BECAME enough. I stretched, and feared breaking, but instead I grew.
Don’t get me wrong, this thinking is on the best days at the best moments. It comes and goes, being broken up by those large quantities of chocolate, naps, mindless television, and frankly, some whining and complaining. Today was a better day, less chocolate, more focus on what I can do and less on what I can’t. I wish you all the best in your endeavors, especially in your practice to validate yourself. Whatever you do, it is ENOUGH.
JENNIFER EULBERG, MA, LPC
Welcome Jennifer, our new blogger!
Jennifer is a counselor at Sandhill who specializes in depression, self-esteem, and grief & loss. Get to know Jennifer as she shares her perspectives on life, contemplates value themes, and offers gentle encouragement.
THANK YOU to Stefanie Pisarkiewicz, LPC for her blog contributions from November 2014 - February 2019!