Sandy wrote in to Elder Wisdom Circle deeply distressed about her relationship. Her boyfriend of seven years, with whom she had a daughter, broke up with her, saying that he didn’t love her anymore. He blamed her for his feelings, yet Sandy soon found out that he had cheated on her, and even impregnated his other partner. Sandy was beside herself, fearful of having to start her life over again and raise her child by herself. At the same time, she felt mixed feelings of both wanting her boyfriend back and resenting him for what he had done.
Elder June-Bug wrote back to Sandy with comforting words. If Sandy was truly struggling with harmful ideation to herself, it was important that she reach out to a suicide prevention hotline or mental health professional. There would be brighter days ahead, the Elder said, if Sandy could just hang in there. That being said, the feelings she was going through were valid, and she should give herself the space she needs to feel them. It was natural for her to feel conflicted towards her boyfriend after what he did. Then, she should remember that if she sought to win him back, she should expect the same infidelity she had just experienced with him. She deserved someone far better, and for the moment, she should devote herself to caring for her daughter and to healing.
I interviewed Sandy after she received June-Bug’s advice, and she shared with me how greatly it had helped her. She shared that she had been thinking of harming herself, and that the Elder’s words really helped her to move through those feelings. Taking the Elder’s suggestions to heart, Sandy paid attention to her anger, sat with her feelings, and allowed herself to feel them in her body until they passed. She said they never quite went away 100%, but they also don’t feel the same as they did when the incident was fresh. Six months after her exchange with June-Bug, she was still working on accepting things. But after grasping June-Bug’s wisdom, Sandy realized that if she had let her anger take control of her, she may no longer be alive. She had sought advice from her best friends before reaching out to EWC, and the Elder’s support made her feel as though someone actually cared about her.
As a retiree, June-Bug shared with me that volunteering with EWC gave her the opportunity to feel connected with others in a way that feels meaningful. She expressed that she’s currently on a journey of deep self-reflection, in which she has gained insight into her own personality type, and as a result, better understands how she gets in the way of her deeper intentions. That concept is one she hopes to impart to advice-seekers. As a 20- to 30-year-old, she says that she didn’t know her true self-worth, and reminds readers that the voice inside your head is definitely not your best friend. In regards to Sandy, the Elder said that she had the strength inside of her to resolve the issue; the only thing she needed was the courage to be vulnerable and take the risk. If she took those measures, she would at least have the reward of knowing that she stood up for herself and did her best.
How many of us need someone to help us realize our self-worth? How many of us assume that little voice inside us always has our best interest at heart? Elder June-Bug has provided us an excellent dose of wisdom and some great advice to guide Sandy (and all of us) on our journey.