Seems like we"ve been hearing a lot lately about "doing the work." This is meant to invoke personal growth and positive change and maybe even healing from whatever traumas you"ve escaped or dragon bellies from which you"ve managed to emerge. "Do the work."
But what does it mean? Sometimes a good starting place for definitions is to look at what something doesn"t mean. Here are some cheap imitations of what "doing the work" might look like:
It might look like hardening up, collecting memes and quotes about being a bad a** and demanding respect.
It might be sharing articles with titles like "Ten Red Flags You"re in a Toxic Relationship" and thinking yourself informed.
It might be using psychobabble in a just effective enough way to sound reasonable. (This will probably include the popular (mis)use of words like narcissist, OCD, PTSD, bipolar and "toxic" for everything a person just might not happen to like.)
It might be surrounding yourself with cheerleaders who tell you how amazing and brave you are and cutting people out of your life who challenge your narrative, then calling it "boundaries".
Those are all forgeries of what "doing the work" actually is.
Doing the work isn"t just knowing the red flags of a relationship. Anybody can Google up some information about mental health. But knowledge isn"t change. Doing the work is about testing your thinking and modifying your behavior to protect and respect yourself and others, in order to live authentically in this world.
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