Happily Ever After Begins at the Corner of Rock Bottom and Confused

Happily ever after starts at the corner of rock bottom and confused by Athena Laz

Happily Ever After Begins at the Corner of Rock Bottom and Confused

As I write this, a decade has passed since I hit rock bottom. My husband and I have just spent two years travelling the globe before choosing where to settle down. My work now involves helping people all over the world rediscover their inner power and heal their lives. Looking back at how much has changed in my life, tears of gratitude overwhelm me as I type these words. Mainly gratitude for having brave enough to look at my own pain, and learn how to choose differently. Something I know that you can do, too.

My virtual private practice, where I work as both a psychologist and as a spiritual/intuitive coach, brings me so much joy.   As do the accessible online personal-growth programs that I have created, and which I have witnessed help thousands of people. I feel very privileged to get to do the healing work that I do—not least because of all the amazing individuals who’ve allowed me to be part of their stories of transformation. But the younger me, the me that had so little faith in herself that she remained stuck in a miserable, dead-end relationship for all those years, would never have believed that this kind of life could be a possibility for me, never mind an actual reality.

Like many people, I spent the better part of my twenties feeling completely lost in relation to my path and my purpose. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and even less about what I could offer others. I “fell into” so many different career paths, none of which really suited me (like working at a vet’s surgery, at a recruitment agency and an events company) only to feel more and more lost. I hadn’t yet honored my innate gifts: that I am, at heart, an intuitive and healer. And it was when I finally honored my talents, that my entire life changed and for the better.

This isn’t to say that my journey has always been easy (it hasn’t) or that I got here all on my own (I didn’t); but for the most part, it has been both humbling and incredibly fulfilling.

Along the way, I have come to believe that growth, expansion and up-levelling, always require some level of discomfort. For example, take my experience of that flood (read that story here) I was required to rebuild both my internal and external foundations after it. I was tasked with moved houses (the external rebuilding). Then I was challenged to look at my level of self-worth, and take responsibility for my role in the relationship I found myself in (the internal rebuilding).

After the break-up, a therapist helped me to uncover the unhealthy ways in which I victimized myself within my relationship. To understand that this wasn’t something my ex did to me—that he did not victimize me—it was something I did to myself. I actively victimized myself when I knew better but did not choose better. I victimized myself each time I stayed put despite my instinct to leave. And it may sound counter-intuitive, but on an emotional and psychological level I was comfortable with being a victim.

 As long as I stayed in this role, I didn’t have to take responsibility for the quality of my life or the unhappy relationship I found myself in. I could blame him, or the situation, or simply “bad luck” for making me unhappy. And learning how not to be a victim felt uncomfortable at first—as changing our psychological programming usually does.

Align and Intend with Athena LazBut what I learned in the process, and what I’m going to try to teach in this blog, is that if it’s something within you that’s holding you back, then it is also within your innate power to change it.

That, sometimes, in order to get to where you want to be, or to experience what you want, you will also need to look at your ability to “tolerate” the good stuff (bliss, love, joy…). Yes, you read that right!

Unhealthy beliefs, mindsets and choices, the kind that keep us stuck in unhealthy relationships, soul-sucking careers, and unhealthy lifestyles, can become psychologically ingrained, and with this comes a “comfortable” predictability about how you expect things to turn out. Namely, badly! You learn how to psychologically tolerate what you don’t want, because it feels emotionally safer than actually doing something different or new. Stepping into slight discomfort (like taking responsibility when it feels overwhelming to do so, or being vulnerable when it feels safer to shut down) can free you from repeating the same comfortable yet, ultimately limiting behaviors, over and over, whilst yearning for a different result. In this sense, discomfort can act as a liberator.

I believe that feeling secure, happy, and fulfilled (and creating a life that reflects this) is a result of understanding practical psychology. Understanding how and why you relate to the world in the way that you do, the premise of fundamental psychology, can help you to understand what is holding you back, so that you reach new heights and fulfilling relationships.  It’s also the underlying basis of almost all mindset work—that is your ability to understand why you do certain things and how to change this if needs be.

But when it comes to seeking a sense of wholeness, changing your mindset can only take you so far. “Wholeness”—a state of feeling fully aligned with everything that we are and attuned to everything that we need— is a state of being, not a way of thinking. It’s something that you just “are,” regardless of how you think and feel. And for everything psychology can teach us, I also believe it is through the lived experience of connecting with the more mystical aspects of life where you fully come alive. Begin to feel fully whole.

It is the magic and the mystery that makes life meaningful. And when you begin to honor both the power of mindset and the magic of mystery, is when you reclaim your ability to create the life you were born to live.

 

Athena Laz is the founder of athenalaz.com, where she uses her skill as a licensed psychologist, self-help author & columnist to help others find their inner power.

OWN YOUR INNER POWER BY ATHENA LAZ

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