As females, we are conditioned to be "real women" by the giving of our nurturing abilities to our partners, children and even, if necessary, elderly parents. We are praised and approved of by parents, partners, friends, siblings and society if we wait hand and foot on someone who happens to be physically or emotionally unwell. We are applauded for putting our own needs to one side, to consider the needs of the unwell person, what might help them and assist them in their recovery.
A taboo subject in many circles is the elephant that sits in the middle of the lounge room that everyone has to walk around but nobody will acknowledge is there. This elephant is the alcoholic, the drug addict, the gambler, the shopaholic, the sex addict, the over eater, the under eater, and even the depressed person, the angry person, the harshly critical and resentful person – generally the member of the family whose behaviour continually causes friction, tension and chaos. Through fear, this behaviour gets left unacknowledged and is not dealt with. The whole family suffers through this unhealthy lack of acknowledgement and everyone learns to live with secrets.
No matter what, the only person we can change is ourselves. So that’s the only place to start – by redefining our own self-image, self-worth and redefining our own needs. Be honest about the elephant in the lounge – if you are in an abusive situation and are keeping it to yourself, tell someone about it even if it is only an anonymous phone call to the Samaritans. Nothing will ever change if you keep quiet about your pain. There are also many wonderful helping organizations from like AlAnon (supporting the friends/loved ones of alcoholics) that can be accessed through Citizens’ Advice Bureau. Counselling, support groups, assertiveness courses, self-awareness courses are also helpful in building up the inner person to cope with and even love the person who is causing so much chaos and distress. And life coaching is a fabulous way to work though your current issues and create a life of peace and happiness.
Once you have become honest about what is going on allow yourself to be led to the right person or therapy for creating a safe place within to boost your self-worth and self-image to the strongest, most amazing place you have ever experienced. This will give you strength to address unhealthy issues and if necessary, make changes. Doing it alone can be difficult but with help, startling life changes will occur on all levels and life can again become an exciting and interesting experience.
Redefining “real women”, women who care enough about themselves to make the necessary changes (inside and out) to live a healthy and happy life, will not only liberate us but those who follow after us – our children.
Hi, I'm Anna Bradbury and I'm an experienced Life Coach and member of ICF (International Coach Federation). I love helping people and couples realise their goals and dreams. With your hard work and focus, my guidance, and proven Life Coaching techniques, you can achieve all you desire.