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Self Disclosure

Please join me by reading the daily meditation from “The Language of Letting Go” by Melody Beattie and share your thoughts in the comment space provided at the end of this post (Click on the Read More button to read the complete thought for the day).

Growing up in a dysfunctional home caused me to live a lifestyle based upon survival.  This survival required an ability to read situations and be what the situation needed me to be in order to be safe.  Safety was one of my main goals but I also had a need to belong, to be accepted and loved.  From time to time, situations beyond my control would cause me to believe that I needed to sacrifice one need to meet another.

For example, I found my self disclosing intimate things about myself to people who were not trustworthy.  This was due in part to the fact that I did not feel lovable and so I worked very hard to get everyone to like me.  I know what you are thinking, but yes, I had hoped that everyone would like me.  It took great heartbreak to understand that there is no way to get everyone to like me.  The best that I could hope for was to find a way to know and like myself.

This awareness required that I look back at my past and forgive myself and others for the situations in my life that convinced me that I was not lovable just as I was.  This awareness that I did not accept myself and that I was always trying to change myself to be what I thought others wanted me to be resulted in my feeling abandoned by my parents but worse than that, I felt that I had abandoned myself.

The process of self disclosure needs to be tempered with the boundaries to help us trust ourselves to understand who is safe to share our intimate feelings with.  It is also important to know when to share and how much you should share.  The important thing is to share because you can not be known or loved if you do not have an intimate (in-to-me-you-see) relationship with yourself and others.

As my goal switched from trying to be what others wanted me to be to knowing myself and changing the things about myself that I did not like, I came to appreciate my uniqueness.  I discovered that I am very passionate about life.  I found that I love God, family and friends and these relationships are extremely important to me.  I love to learn and try new things.  I love to travel and see different cultures and traditions.  I love music, dance and theater.  I love to dress up and try different styles and colors on my hair.  I also love to ride my Harley and witness the beauty in nature as I smell the fresh air and feel the wind blow through my hair.

Today: I assess the safety, time and place to share intimate details of my life so that I can be known, loved and safe.

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Diana Smith, PhD, LPC-MH owns and operates Serenity Mental Health Services and is licensed by the National Board of Certified Counselors. License number is LPC-MH2025 and she follows the ethical guidelines described by the NBCC found at their web site Diana is a member of the National Board for Certified Counselors, Certification Number 43911. In addition, she is also a member of the American Counseling Association, Member ID# 5140627. Online counseling can help you right now. Research has made it clear that this manner of offering therapy is effective and those who’ve experienced it have said they would seek it out again.

Dr. Diana is an APA (American Psychological Association) EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) approved Therapist in Training.