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Becoming Yourself Counselling

Becoming Yourself: It Began with My Journey

Discovering Neurodivergence: It Changed Everything

Jung says, "The right way to wholeness is made up, unfortunately, of fateful detours and wrong turnings."

My journey to authenticity led me through darkness and the swamplands of the soul. Understanding the concept of 'wholeness' compatible with me involved struggling and striving toward becoming myself. Now, I aim to help others who are seeking their true selves.

Struggles with Invalidation and Inner Conflict

Learning about my neurodivergence later in life, I realized I had spent the majority of my life unaware of my different way of processing. The invalidation experienced from others only enhanced my already critical internal narrative. The beliefs I adopted about the world were due to constantly feeling different and finding ways to hide who I am in broad daylight. This led to conflict with the outside world as I struggled to translate my experiences and failed to be understood. It promoted the inner conflict and paradoxes I felt compelled to resolve. The impact on my life was evident as I realized the incompatibility of my values with who I was showing up as in the world. The masks I wore, the chameleon I learned to be to feel safer, to be accepted by others—all contributed to the socialization that changed who I was and turned me into a person conflicted with himself. Discovering my neurodivergent identity and processing the experiences of the "bugs and features" I possessed enhanced my ability to cultivate self-compassion, which led me to a path of self-acceptance and, ultimately, self-realization. These are not destinations; they are ongoing practices that I had to develop in my life. I found that I was in my own way, not by choice, but as a byproduct of my experiences. Undoing what was conditioned in me became a necessary part of my journey as I learned the message that I was "not enough." The irony was that it was not how my peers saw me.

Transformative Experiences and Personal Growth

"The real difficulty is to overcome how we think about ourselves." - Maya Angelou

I took a long detour and built life experiences through much pain and suffering as I struggled to meet the world's challenges and sought to escape my life. After many glimpses of what "it could be like," I was propelled to shift paradigms from being a victim and empowered myself to take control of what I could in my life. I learned that with the freedom to choose the direction of my life came the responsibility for the consequences. I took responsibility for what I could control in myself, learning to change my relationship with the parts of myself that I found undesirable and incompatible with my values. I learned to live my life by my values, not the thoughts and feelings that had "hooked" me into going astray. My life has been spent seeking solutions to the challenges of the human condition. It has been about my curiosity to understand myself and our shared humanity—the difficulties with my relatedness to myself and others, the struggle with uncertainty, and the absurdity of life.

The journey was difficult; rough, uncharted waters and obstacles constantly appeared. Following a few events that altered my course, I met some supportive and life-changing individuals. After a significant shift in perspective, I found enough safety to step into growth and explore my difficulties in life. I had learned how difficult life could be, and my passion burned brightly to be someone who could be there for others. These experiences have shaped my thinking and my process of working with others.

Helping Others on Their Journey: Holistic Approach to Therapy

My passion and purpose are to help others carve their life paths, using therapeutic questions and scaffolding skills to help them find their safety and trust in themselves enough to start their growth into whomever they know themselves to be. Utilizing questions that have been asked has led me to seek to understand how we can change and what we can do for ourselves to improve our mental and social lives, live by our values, and survive the challenges we face.

From my observations and experiences in life, I have learned many skills and ways to make shifts in our lives and perspectives that have served me adaptively and improved the quality of my life and others I have shared them with. We must become open and willing to work on ourselves, to remake ourselves, and that comes with a cost; the old you must pass away as it is synthesized into the new you being created. I hope you find something here that encourages you, allows you to think about new perspectives, and challenges your assumptions. Ultimately, I hope you seek solutions to the struggles you may be facing, whether you are struggling with your mental well-being, figuring out who you are, or your place in the world, understanding your neurodivergence, or trying to become whoever you really are after the masks are removed. Know you are not alone. (Please seek professional help if required)

My curiosity helped me explore therapy modalities that would assist people in navigating their struggles. I started to develop a more "holistic" approach to my life's physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components. I started to examine what "wholeness," authenticity, integration, and synthesis are. We may delve into processes around integrating and synthesizing new knowledge as I continue to acquire new understandings through my ongoing exploration of life. I am constantly creating new mental models and perspectives, continually challenging my old thought patterns and rigid views that have held me back.

Navigating Life's Complexities

It’s a complex process to learn how to navigate the world's uncertain nature and manage the absurdity of the events I experience while learning to relate to others and engage in life. Many of us seek to answer these questions for ourselves, and many would benefit from guidance suited to our needs as we learn to navigate the complex reality we are experiencing. Stepping back from the details and experiencing the big picture, we learn to play our role in the cosmic dance, to live our lives based on our own values, and to be the person we want to be in the world. This takes courage and often a connection to encouraging, helpful supports that improve our safety. I would never claim to have a solution for everyone. Despite my significant adversities, I have found a way to live my life, being myself in this world. My philosophy of life, my "Art of Living," and some of the insights I gained have been helpful to others in understanding their journey. I’ve spent many years trying to be of maximum usefulness to others. I’ve trained as a social worker and a therapist, and I remain "just another human soul aiming to touch other human souls." (To paraphrase Carl Jung)

As Carl Jung’s words suggest,

"Be grateful for your difficulties and challenges, for they hold blessings. In fact... Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for healthy personal growth, individuation, and self-actualization."

Embracing Authenticity

I have learned to lean into authenticity and be in touch with myself more often, as I was disconnected from myself. This led to my internal conflict and a life lived as someone who was not me; the process was becoming myself. I hope to point you to questions, ideas, skills, concepts, strategies, philosophies, and insights that will encourage you to evolve toward becoming yourself. Learning that we are becoming who we are meant to be, unbecoming who we are not, and being ourselves in the flow of our experiences has been a "wholeness"-inspired journey.

My own becoming was just as much about unbecoming who I was not. I don’t have to like the life challenges I faced, and I don’t dismiss how hard they have been. I have found I can hold the idea that I wish I didn’t have to go through such a harrowing experience to discover my life path and appreciate the need to walk my path through life’s relentless obstacles. As the Zen proverb says, "The obstacle is the path."

Each person’s way of overcoming the challenges they face will vary. We all benefit from different approaches and often we benefit differently from the same ones, and that is why I take an integrative approach to my practice as a therapist. This blog is a space to share the insights that have helped me and others, from therapy modalities to philosophical insights and psychological principles to insights from great thinkers, in an accessible space.

My life has been spent seeking solutions to the challenges of the human condition. It has been about what I am curious to understand in myself and our shared humanity—the difficulties with my relatedness to myself and others, the struggle with uncertainty, and the absurdity of life. I hope to inspire you, provide hope, and be a lighthouse for those navigating life’s stormy, dark, and challenging waters. I can only hope to show you some doors that lead you to insight that assists you in your process of self-understanding, self-compassion, and acceptance of who you are, understanding your limits and leveraging your strengths, learning to relate to others while navigating the anxiety of uncertainties, and navigating the absurd difficulties you experience on your path to becoming yourself. If I can help, I want to.

Sometimes, we need professional support to help us overcome obstacles, and there is no shame or harm in reaching out for support. We all can benefit from a non-judgmental and supportive place to discuss our lives and receive insights and perspectives from people outside of our circles. It is a bunch of choppy waters out there; anchor yourself if needed.

"It’s not what happened to you, it’s what you choose to become." - Carl Jung

Phoenix and Lighthouse

Blog Disclaimer:

Please enjoy and share the content on this blog, intended for general educational and informational purposes only. It does not reflect my profession's stance, cover every scenario, or offer personalized advice. It is solely a representation of my lived experience.

Given the diversity of life experiences, not all messages may resonate with everyone. This blog is not a substitute for professional mental health care. For specialized guidance, consult a licensed professional.

I offer psychotherapy services to Ontario residents. Learn more about my practice and contact me for a free 20-minute consultation.