February Director’s Corner: The Spirit of Love
There are three relational impulses: turning towards, away, and against. It’s an important question we couple’s and relational therapists explore with folx who are experiencing troubles in their relationships. But it’s an important question to ask ourselves when it comes to our mental health and other relationships. Questions to ponder when it comes to self-love and mental wellness:
- Is how I begin and end the day an act of turning towards or against me?
- How do I talk to myself? Are these inner dialogues helping me turn towards, away from, or against myself?
- What daily choices can I make to turn towards me as I move through the day?
In AAPI cultures grounded in collectivism, there is a tendency to turn towards the collective: community & family. Thoughts like, “What will others say?” or “I’m indebted to” or “How do I save face?” are all examples of turning away from us (sometimes against) and towards someone else.
How do we justify turning towards ourselves vs the folx in our collective/families, etc? Is it selfish to turn towards ourselves?
The answer…it’s complicated. For some, the collective is the beginning and end point of meaning-making and identity. For others, it’s a place of obligation, hurt, and betrayal. For others, it’s neither. Part of mental health work is finding your true north and co-creating a system of organizing values, needs, wants, and intentions. This is a critical area of work because our internal relationship with ourselves impacts how we love, relate, and interact with others.
This month, I ask, are you turning towards, away, or against you…in how you move through the day?
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