Everyone has Issues: How Therapy Can Normalize the Human Experience - Humantold

Everyone has Issues: How Therapy Can Normalize the Human Experience

Georgette Maidiotis, MHC-LP March 7, 2024

Know that you are not alone in finding it hard to deal with life’s barriers.

Life in the 21st century is not easy, and some may argue that nowadays is one of the toughest times to be a human. Although life may have become easier since the caveman days, modern day life comes with its own number of struggles. From what may seem like a never ending to-do list, to spending hours a day scrolling social media, we all experience “issues.” These “issues” or life challenges can be hard to experience in the moment and can have a serious impact on our mental and physical health. Although tough times can feel overwhelming or even impossible to cope with at times, it’s important to take a step back from the chaos and notice how problems are not foreign to the human experience. I don’t mean to say that in an invalidating way, but rather in a way to normalize this experience for you. As in, sometimes life just feels like it sucks, but that’s also part of just living. As a therapist, but most of all human, I’m here to remind you that having “issues” or things you want to work on is just part of your humanness. 

Let’s take history into consideration for example. Humans have been through wars, famine, and copious amounts of devastating experiences. Statistics would probably say that there’s little to no person who has walked this earth that has not faced some difficulty in life. Of course, the range or intensity of these experiences may vary, but being able to stay connected or even embracing our humanity will allow for the ebb and flow of life to naturally occur. 

When thinking about any difficulties you may be currently experiencing, it’s important to acknowledge how some level of discomfort in life is inevitable. In trying to stay connected to your humanness, be mindful of any judgment that may come with what you’re currently experiencing. Judging your current experience will most likely make things harder to deal with, and we all know that’s what we want to shy away from. Magnifying our difficult emotions is real and something I see through my work as a psychotherapist. People get sad about their sadness, anxious about their anxiety, when in reality they are just having a normal response to a difficult situation. 

Learning to relate to our difficulties in a non-judgmental and compassionate way is key to our self-preservation. Going through hard times can be a beautiful thing as it displays our resiliency and can even lead to an improved self-esteem.  

Difficult times not only allow for us to deepen our connection with our inner world, but other humans as well. Therapeutic support groups allow for this exact connection to take place. It’s just humans connecting with other humans based on a shared difficult experience. 

Just think: what would life be like anyways if we faced no hardships? Would we all just be bored or like robots going through life with the same easy experiences? Imagining a life with no hard times is difficult to envision, and one that seems pretty bland and meaningless. 

Think of a time when you experienced something really hard to deal with in the moment. How did you get through that time, and what did you learn about yourself through it? Regardless of what you went through, I’m sure there was some level of growth that you experienced through that journey. If you could go back, do you think there would be something you would tell yourself or judge less if you would be able to know what you know now?

When taking these past experiences into account, let’s not forget to keep these lessons in mind when being in the present. Take this as your reminder to stay kind and patient with yourself through any difficult circumstances you are currently facing. Know that you are not alone in finding it hard to deal with life’s barriers and that if anything, you are just being human. 

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