What does it mean to live as a free person?
When I was a boy, my grandmother told me that there would be a time when I would be on my own. That no other person would meet me with the same level of unconditional love as the people who loved me as a child. She told me that the time would come when my love for myself would have to be enough to remind me of what it means to live as a free person.
Developing my own internal resources helped me to move through some very difficult times when I faced systemic racism, homophobia, and discriminatory institutional structures with people, places, and policies. Not to mention the struggles that come with daily life.
My grandmother was the first to teach me to grow love inside myself so that I could sustain myself through my own hard times. Through my education, I learned more skills. As a therapist, I teach others to live as free people. Living as a free person means developing resources so that you can stand on your own and live your life on your own terms.
How to develop internal resources for yourself
Developing your own internal resources starts inside yourself. Go back into your memories where you felt the unconditional, positive regard, love, and the joy of being free and curious. Before life happened and your reality was defined by the adults around you. Take those memories, connect with all the beautiful positive sensations, and call that love into yourself when you are in a crisis to give you the strength to face real threats in your life.
During the times when I have to rely on my own internal resources I know that there was a time when someone loved and prayed for me. I can connect with the love that my elders gave to me, and remember.
My work now
It is my job now, as a therapist, to help you learn to develop your own internal resources and to guide you on your own path of living as a free person.