“Kris”: Finding Direction through Self-Compassion
In a moment, life can change. In each of the lives of the women we serve there were moments of change that brought them to a place of “now what?” “Where do I go from here?” “What are my options?” “How will I ever be able to do this?” Those are common questions from participants when they first meet with a Life-Work Planing Center Self-Sufficiency Counselor. Questions of uncertainty, insecurity, confusion, distrust, and other thoughts that almost make one feel like a teenager again riding the emotional rollercoaster of uncertainty. Each trying to figure out how to get off and on solid ground, which requires patience and self-compassion.
None of us are guarded from life’s unknowns. We may have a plan of what we want our future to look like, but we don’t know for sure what is in store for us in the next ten years, the next five years, or even tomorrow.
“Kris” grew up in a loving home. She followed what she thought was the “rule book of life.” She went to college, got a job, got married, started a family and even started a few businesses along the way. She was dedicated to her daughter, to her career, and tried to make her marriage hold strong through all the ups and downs.
Unexpectedly, she found herself trying to transition from being married to living a single life and looking for jobs. The ups and downs of the marriage became too much for both her and her partner and now a new plan to what life would look like needed to be established.
“Kris: needed to find herself again. What did she want? What were her strengths? What were the things that motivated her? “Kris” was boarding the rollercoaster of uncertainty and needed a hand to hold to pull her out of that line.
“Kris” was referred to Life-Work Planning Center by a local attorney and came to Life-Work Planning Center a few months ago in hopes of replacing those questions of insecurity and confusion with self-compassion and self-kindness. Prior to the unexpected transition that brought her to Life-Work Planning Center, “Kris” knew what she wanted in her future and had a plan to get there, but that plan didn’t work out.
“Kris” began attending the Life-Work Planning Center Strength•Balance•Self-Respect workshops, and she scheduled one-on-one visits with one of the Self-Sufficiency counselors. Each time she came in she says she “learned valuable insights as to who she is as a person.”
At every group session she says she learned, “it is okay to cry when needed and just to laugh when you are out of tears,” and she says, “I gained the confidence in knowing I wasn’t alone.”
With every one-on-one she was able to work on assessments which helped her learn her preferences in career choices so she could, as she puts it, “focus on those paths for employment.”
With the devastation of life not looking like what she had planned, “Kris” learned how to find herself again. She learned she had the confidence and strength within her, it just needed to be coaxed out.
With a new job and her confidence restored, “Kris” found her solid ground. “Kris” tells us, “Each day is better than the last.”
**Name has been changed to protect the identity of the subject of this story.**