Jodi Takhar is a mom, a counsellor, a person in long-term recovery, and a cheerleader for many. She has been told by family, clients, and friends she gives people a safe place to land.
The Principles of My Life
Over the course of my forty-nine, (notice it’s not 50 yet) years, I have experienced so many ups and downs, it has felt like the longest rollercoaster in the world. Through all these crazy, challenging times, I have learned my lessons and recognized some crucial principles I live by.
Never give up
Giving up has never been an option for me. There have always been one or more reasons for me to not go to bed and pull the covers over my head. When I was in the thick of my alcoholism, I knew there was another way… I just had to find it. Later, I wouldn’t give up my recovery or disappoint my husband or my friends.
Then, I had to keep going for my children. They couldn’t see their mother give up. In between, it was definitely my ego. I could not let “them win.” Whether it was substance use disorder, arthritis, the job from hell, the death of my Gram, my Dad, my Second Mom, my friend, or my marriage, giving up was not an option.
There was also the good stuff that was equally as challenging for me; the new job, the new friend, a visit home with my family, the new relationship, the wedding, the birth of my two beautiful daughters, or the new home. I didn’t know how to be okay with success for a long time AND I know I wanted it, so I just didn’t give up.
The only way around is through
On the heels of never giving up is learning that everything I tried to get around the easy way came back to bite me in the butt. I learned fast that I had to do the work to get through to the other side. It didn’t matter what ‘the work’ was. Whether it was my recovery program, seeing that counsellor, physical therapy, reading about brain plasticity or parenting, couples counselling, courses, classes or just allowing myself time to grieve and/or heal, it didn’t matter. There was always a course of action.
One of the things I struggle with most is getting through does not always happen in my time. I am not a very patient person. I like things to be done lickety-split, thank you very much.
Don’t you know I have already done that page or read that book? Sitting still and letting the healing happen from the inside out has always been hard, and it is part of the way through. What I forget is healing and integrating take time. The interesting thing was and still is, whatever my course of action I take, even sitting still, it always involves the people in my life, especially the people closest to me… my tribe.
Have a tribe
My people are who carry me through the darkest times and the most exciting times. I need both because I get lost easily. I also lose perspective and need to be brought back down to earth. I have several women and men in my world I can call and unload on, cry to, laugh with, and be carried by. These are the same people who tell me how it is, call me out, check on me, and put me in my place… all with love.
When I first got arthritis, it was my tribe that carried me. They drove to appointments, helped me get groceries, rubbed my feet, listened to me whine, told me to deal with it, and helped me find solutions and new ways of doing things. When we found out my daughter would have struggled due to a couple of brain abnormalities, my tribe help my hand, loved me and her, let me cry and when it got hard told me to keep going. They gave me books, sent me cards held my hand, told me to get to work and so much more.
While my tribe has not always been the same people, the core five stay the same. Different people come in and out of my life depending on what the Universe believes I need. Even through COVID, my tribe is still here, and we are all carrying each other. You all know who you are, and I hope you know how grateful I am for you.
Everyone is always doing their best
I have no idea what 99.9% of people are going through. If I hold the principle that everyone is always doing their best, it helps me not judge and I get to accept people, especially those close to me, exactly as they are at that moment in time. Understanding this principle has helped me be more vulnerable and understanding, give more of myself, be less shellfish and self-centred, and be the best version of myself I can. It has also helped me accept myself for exactly who I am at any given moment.
The biggest lesson in acceptance has been for my parents. I thought they were supposed to be these magnificently perfect people who never made mistakes. While they are/were both amazing people, they did make mistakes and sometimes didn’t know what to do with or for me. When my perception shifted, I understood they were always doing their best and everything they did was out of love for me. I am so very grateful for both of my parents. Without them, I wouldn’t be me. Over the course of time, this principle has allowed me to cut myself some slack.
I’ve made mistakes and been less than perfect and am grateful for all of it.
All of this has led me to the principle that gives me the most joy… be kind. Treating those around me with kindness, whether it’s family, friends, my ex-husband, or the stranger on the street, is how I want to be in the world. I don’t know what others are experiencing. I’m not walking in their shoes and I don’t get to judge. It is also none of my business. Being kind allows me to bring a wee bit of happiness or relief to someone else and that makes me feel good. I don’t always do it perfectly. I am human. I make mistakes, need to vent, and sometimes I just behave badly. Those are the times I have to call my tribe, do the work and figure out why, move through whatever it is, and then own my mistake or my behaviour.
The beautiful thing is, when I do this with kindness, people forgive me, and I forgive myself.
I believe my purpose is to give people a soft place to land and heal from their darkness. Whether it is through my work as a counsellor and hypnotherapist, as a friend, daughter, mother, or person on the street, I get to treat others as I want to be treated and I am grateful for that. By not giving up, doing the work, walking through the crap, and having my tribe, I get to be me, and I am grateful to be of service to those around me. Some days, all I can do is be kind and that’s okay.
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