Karen L. Kehler, MA,  MSHA - Private- Professional- Affordable Counseling Services
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Kehler Counseling Blog

Shakespeare -Self - Addiction Connections


My mantra this year has been from Shakespeare – and the more I pay attention to it – the more I see it happen or not happen to my clients – the more I explore the role of fear and resistance the more I ‘get it’ – WHY this simple quote is so meaningful yet very challenging on a daily basis.   This is how it ‘works’ -  if you know who you are – it is very easy to ‘stay true’ – it is easier to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to the good and bad – the people – places – events – things – situations – that either line up with what we value – or don’t.    If you know  that you value family – then you can more easily say yes to helping – supporting – inviting – caring – enjoying all that is ‘family’.  It is why for some mothers it is extremely difficult to do ‘tough love’ to addict family members – because they value not just family but their role as a parent.  Doing something against that – or not being motherly -  feels uncomfortable –even hostile.  It is why they may get accused of ‘enabling’ more often than others.  Their sense of identity comes from being a mother.    Take that role away and they experience a loss – a grieving – a lack of feeling whole.     When you don’t have a strong sense of WHO you are – you are also vulnerable to the ‘noise’ – ‘chatter’ –abuse – condemnation – judgment of others.   When a person doesn't  know themselves – they second guess – question – ask for reassurance – and even reject what is TRUE TO THEMSELVES.  That is because they haven’t ‘anchored’ themselves into their knowing – so they are easily influenced – dependent – wishy-washy – lack assertiveness /confidence and too often allow others to manipulate them. 
Sounds like a household with addiction doesn't it??
To become TRUE to yourself – you have to still yourself – quietly begin reflecting – look inside for what really moves you – makes you tick – makes you angry – makes you feel joy – makes you feel your best.   It is UNIQUE to you.   It is stopping the noise of others – of media – of advertisements – of demands of others –telling you who you should be  and listening – recalling those moments in your life when you felt real – without fear – authentic – ‘yourself’ – joy-filled – happy.    When we are busy feeling fear – we are too busy listening to NOISE.   When we are listening to fears – the ‘shoulds’ – the ‘musts’ – we stop listening to our own strong – yet quiet voices.  Those ‘gut’ experiences when we were ‘right’.    As we age – we gain more of those events – and for me that has confirmed my intuition MUST BE LISTENED TO.     There were events – people in my life that I ‘read’ and immediately felt a significant emotion – a drawing force or other times a negative energy – and either way – I was ‘right’ – they guided me to great things or total disasters – or just took advantage. . .  BUT we don’t get to hear those signals – if we’re busy listening to everyone else’s noise!     Fear BLOCKS us.   When we are ‘blocked’ we can’t be authentic or congruent.    There is resistance in fear.   That resistance can be called ‘lack of faith’ – ‘lack of trust’ – or it can be based on past history and lessons of pain that were learned and we want to AVOID!    Rather than open ourselves up to the vulnerability of great love – great experiences – great rewards – we hunker down with our fears  and look for ways they are TRUE!   
ASK YOURSELVES - WHAT would you do if you weren't afraid??    What would you LET GO OF?  What would you do more of?  Less of?  What would you SAY?  Who would you reach out to?  Who would you limit contact with?   When you begin your journey towards staying in your own truth – you find these events much easier to navigate.    You would realize that your own efforts to fix, manage, control, protect someone else may be part of the real problem -  that you are trying to shift THEM from their own authenticity – you want them to BE what is comfortable for you . . .   not ‘themselves’.    Now this is NOT advocating that you’re ‘approving’ of being an addict!!  This ‘transaction’ may have happened years before – and the addict is now ‘removed’ from their core truth – because they listened to too much noise around THEM!!    That is THEIR responsibility to protect and change!   It is another ‘core’ element of recovery – ‘change people – places – things’ -  this is WHY – we all need to get back to our TRUE selves – and as the quote that started this ‘share’ says – we TOO OFTEN GET LOST IN OUR HELPING!!   
I hope that you benefit from reading all the way to this point – this is powerful information to shift through.   I encourage journaling – Take a self ‘inventory’ of adjectives that give a list of   ‘WHO’ you are – adjectives.   Memorize them – stay with them – protect them – own them and encourage all of your loved ones to do the same.  I will follow up with more detail on how and what to do with them - but start making a list today - if I was to describe you  -NOT what you did, earn, came from but are you helpful, persistent, loving, supportive, humorous, athletic, - start a list - then begin lining your life of with keeping them intact.  
With that have a GREAT day – breathe deeply -enjoy scenery– and enjoy your blessings!
Karen L. Kehler MA, MSHA
Private Counseling Services
212 S. Lehigh (RT 61)  
Frackville, PA 17931   570.874.0808

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