This is the time of year when we tend to reflect on what's been going well in life and what's been tripping us up. I love being a therapist and helping people find more of what helps them feel self-compassionate, alive and focused on what's meaningful to them. Sometimes clients wonder if the negative experiences they've had - such as poverty, substance abuse, loss, and sexual, physical or emotional pain or abuse - have left them permanently damaged and unable to move forward "like other people". There can be a sense that the hand they've been dealt means certain things - having a healthy love relationship or family, a rewarding sex life, or a meaningful career - just aren't going to happen for them. Luckily, that's not necessarily the case. We have the capacity to interpret life in ways that create hope and lead to broadening our sense of purpose and effectiveness. We can push back against feeling powerless to do little more than experience ongoing loss in the shadow of a painful past. In short, we can learn to be resilient. Therapy is a great place to do just that.
Here's an article from the New Yorker that talks about research on resilience. I hope it inspires you.