The purpose of the “Back to Center” advice column is to provide perspectives for personal realignment and empowered living in these tyrannical times. Sarah encourages you to reach out to her with requests for advice about self-development and emotional and mental well-being. Please send your questions to email@example.com. Anonymous and secure. Looking forward to hearing from you!
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I recently had a medical procedure done, and am struggling to feel okay about it on several levels. It was a procedure that my doctor strongly advised I go through because of a certain health condition I have. I didn’t feel great about the idea, but kind of let myself be talked into it. My doctor was saying all these scary things about what could happen if I didn’t have this procedure, and I got scared and felt like there were no other options. I guess I got taken in by the fear factor, and eventually agreed to it.
Now, after the fact, I feel regret and pain — not just the physical pain, which is definitely there as I work on recovering — but emotional pain as well. I’m so sad that I let myself be pulled into something I didn’t really want to do; that I wasn’t stronger about asserting myself and exercising my right to look into other options. I feel like I’ve betrayed myself. How do I heal from this?
Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I’m so sorry to hear about all the pain you’re going through.
It seems to me that this is a good moment to pause and take a few deep breaths. When you are ready, keep reading, and let’s take a gentle look at what’s going on for you.
You’ve just been through what sounds like an intense and complicated procedure. First and foremost, I encourage you to give yourself space to heal. This is the time for rest and self-care, not self-judgment or second guessing. Ask yourself what you need right now. What does your body need? What does your soul need? What would feel soothing and helpful to you physically and emotionally? Giving yourself the chance to heal properly on all levels is crucial. Consider taking care of yourself to be your number one job right now.
When you are feeling stronger, that will be the time to take a closer look at processing this experience for yourself. As you think back through the conversations with your doctor and the decision-making process you went through, asking yourself the following questions may bring some helpful insights:
- What did I really want in this situation (in terms of outcome or the way I wanted to handle things)?
- What actions would I have needed to take in order to stay aligned with what I wanted?
- Why was it difficult to stay true to myself in this situation?
- Why did I feel so strongly influenced by my doctor?
- What role did fear play?
- How could I have approached the situation differently?
- How can I listen more closely to my own intuition in the future?
It seems to me that another question your heart wants you to ask is, “How can I forgive myself for this ‘betrayal’?” as you called it. The truth is that most of us have these experiences from time to time — situations where we let ourselves be influenced by others to go in a direction we know deep down we’re not comfortable with. We might do it out of fear, self-doubt, lack of information, or for other reasons, and then look back afterward and feel mystified as to where our true selves ran off to in those moments. From there, it’s super easy to hop on the “What was I thinking?” downward spiral of self-criticism.
Instead of letting that regret drag you down, how can you give yourself some compassion around the part you played in the experience? It sounds like it was a complicated situation with many factors to consider; health-related challenges can be especially scary and confusing to navigate. Is it possible that you did the best you could at the time, with who and where you are in life right now? And now, on the other side of it, what can you learn from the experience to carry forward with you?
Most likely, we won’t navigate every single challenge in life the way we would ideally want. But that’s okay, because life is more about the direction we’re moving in versus where we are on the path. If you can take this experience you’ve been through, use it to become stronger and more centered within yourself, and then apply this learning to the next challenge, you’ve won. The getting up again when you fall is far more honorable than never falling at all.
Sending you good thoughts for a complete recovery of body and spirit!
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- Advice column premier: Back to Center
Sarah encourages you to reach out to her with requests for advice! Please send your questions to email@example.com. Anonymous and secure.
Sarah Perron is a Certified Transformational Life Coach. Her passion is to help people create a powerful vision for their lives, identify and eliminate anything that holds them back, and step into their own unique greatness and mission in the world. She believes deeply in the power of coaching to bring fresh perspectives, ideas, and motivation to anyone who wants to thrive in life. Sarah works with clients one-on-one and in group coaching programs and presents exciting workshops on self-development topics. You can follow her on her YouTube channel Find Your Fire.
You are invited to book a complimentary coaching call with Sarah! Please visit https://calendly.com/sarahperroncoaching/45min to choose a time that's convenient for you. She looks forward to meeting you!