Right about this time last summer I was on a mission. I was getting ready to create this website and I wanted it to be different from my last one. I wanted women to land on my counseling, therapy and life coaching pages and immediately feel a sense of belonging because they could see themselves in what I’d written.
So I pulled out piles of papers and notes. I dove into countless words. Words that women had said to me over the years. In doing so I discovered that certain phrases had been uttered again and again.
And then, I decided to go looking for the through-line, the common thread that tied all these words together.
Finally, one day, I stepped back and saw it: almost every counseling, therapy and life coaching client had told me that something was missing in her life or in her.
While not every woman said it the same way, it was there lurking beneath the surface.
This sense of being unfinished, incomplete, empty, unsatisfied.
A belief (sometimes strong, sometimes half-formed) that they were flawed in some way.
And no matter how their lives looked on the outside, something seemed to be missing on the inside.
Here’s a sampling of the words and phrases that I’ve heard many times over:
- I don’t make the time to do what I want to do
- I feel fragile and emotional
- Nothing seems really good, just kind of blah
- I worry a lot
- It’s hard to keep up a healthy routine
- I’m not living up to my potential
- Sometimes I feel powerless
- I’m the biggest problem in my life
- I don’t know why my relationships are like this
- I’m a people pleaser
- A lot has been building up for a long time
- I feel isolated and alone
- I’m burned out
- I feel blocked inside
- I’m stressed out
- I struggle to live in the moment
- I’m depleted, tired and exhausted
- I don’t have a lot of energy
- My job’s okay but I just don’t care about it
- I hate my job
- I don’t know how to break this cycle I’m in
- I’m more likely to get frustrated and irritated these days
- I don’t know how to deal with what’s stuck inside of me
- I’m not sure what I really want to do
- I want less stress and more free time
- I’m really hard on myself
- I’ve lost touch with self-care
- I should be farther along by now
- I start things but can’t seem to finish them
- I’m overwhelmed
- I just put one foot in front of the other and try to get through the day
- I’m sad that I have so little time for me
- It’s hard to get motivated
- I always think the other shoe is going to drop
- I have unfulfilled dreams
If you’ve said or thought any of these words or phrases yourself, take comfort in knowing you’re not alone.
You’re in good company. You don’t have to worry that there’s something wrong with you for experiencing this or having trouble dealing with it.
And if you really think about it, you’ll probably come to the conclusion that we women are pretty hard on ourselves. (Yes, that’s one I hear a lot.)
Of course, I don’t know what your particular version of what’s missing is. But I do know that you have a quiet knowing within you.
We all have a deep and abiding wisdom within us that can help with the mystery of what’s missing.
That wisdom can help you feel the way you say you want to feel, and live the way you say you want to live.
Not only can it lead the way when you dive into the mystery of what’s missing, but it can also pull you toward what truly matters for you.
Like I said, I don’t know what’s missing for you. But maybe you’ll see it in these other words my clients say out loud and with verve.
Joy. Stillness. Safety. Trust. Calm. Self-Acceptance. White Space. Optimism. Ease. Purpose. Self-Compassion. Belonging. Worthiness. Connection. Meaning.
They say words like this when they’re beginning to claim what truly matters to them.
They say them when they’re on the path to healing, hope and forward movement.
I feel so lucky to be witness to these words. All of them.
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It is my great joy to offer counseling, therapy and life coaching to women. You can work with me in my Santa Rosa office, as well as by telephone/secure video if you’re outside the area. To schedule a free consultation, click here or call 707-742-9844.