Marriage and Family Therapist
Julie Cohen is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist MFT and a Child Mental Health Specialist with a private practice in Los Angeles. Her areas of focus include: depression, anxiety, panic, post-traumatic stress, bipolar…
I am Lovable and Capable Part lV: Become a Force of Nature
Posted in Alcoholism by Julie Cohen on May 22, 2008

This is the fourth and I think the final part to the IALAC series. I have one final thought that I want to share. I realized it's not only important to learn how to protect your IALAC sign but also to learn how to make it stronger! So I offer this story about self awareness and becoming an active participant in your own life. I also wanted to give credit again to the author of the IALAC curriculum, Dr. Sidney B. Simon (Simon Workshops).

Etta (my dog) and I took a walk this morning. Often we go to a local park that has a man-made lake. Quite beautiful considering the urban sprawl that I am surrounded by... Anyway, thousands of ducks converge on the lake and its shore daily. As Etta and I were rounding a bend we saw hundreds of ducks hugging the edge of the shore and this little boy (maybe 4 years) running through them. This little guy was quite a force of nature as all the ducks were forced to make a decision. Most easily flopped into the lake. And others covered their beaks hoping not to get caught up in this little tornado of energy. Anyway it made me think about how hard it is to enact change. I mean changes that are good for us, that we really need to do but just can't (or won't?). And it often feels like there needs to be some sort of "Force of Nature" to begin the process. I have at times felt like the ducks: waiting, waiting, waiting on the shore. Avoiding taking the first step towards changes I know I need to make. And then my own personal force of nature hits. As a woman over 40 those forces of nature seem to come more frequently i.e. the results of cholesterol screening or throwing my back out through too much physical activity such as bending over! Anyway, I am forced to make a decision, it's either into the lake, or covering my beak and hope for the best. To come full circle, the reason Etta and I are walking in the park to begin with and were able to have this epiphany, is this time, I embraced the force, trying to stay healthy through eating better and exercise. May the force be with you all!

I think from time to time we all experience life changing opportunities. Sometimes they are subtle and other times they hit us like a ton of bricks. Regardless of how they arrive there is always a choice that accompanies them; embrace it or reject it! Embracing or enacting change takes courage and often requires a leap of faith. But inevitably by becoming your own force of nature you strengthen your IALAC sign. This story was a Daily Strength journal entry that I wrote about a year ago. And FYI, Etta and I were walking in the park this morning, watching ducks and the little boys that chase them!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article this is the final episode of the IALAC series. But, you don't have to stop working on your own IALAC sign. Daily Strength is a great place to get support around this issue. I would encourage those who are struggling with issues of low self-esteem to consider even forming a Daily Strength IALAC group. Also, please feel free to suggest other topics you would like me to write about. Warm regards to all!


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TOTAL COMMENTS: 6 - View All Comments »

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Displaying comments 6-1 of 6
thank you for your story, i have a grown daughter is also is suffering from low sel esteme and cant move forward out of a damaging relationship.
Iam a brand new member and missed the IALAC series and would like to know more,is that possible ?

By cionne  Jul 19, 2008
Thank you Julie, for this. I'm finding out how hard simple changes can be, and how much better they make things when one sticks with them. Thank you for helping refocus my energy on growing to be better and stronger. :)
By Catstiptoes  Jun 02, 2008
My first and BEST Pdoc shared personal stories with me too. She was amazing and because she shared part of herself with me I trusted her beyond belief.

Why don't more Pdocs do that? She didn't share marital problems or BIG stuff but little day to day things that let me understand she "knew" what it was like in the "real" world.

She told me she was "burned out" in her pratice and I admired her honesty. She told me she was going back to school at 42 and it was scary but she was wanted to change her life and she was going back to school to learn how to help brain damaged people.

I LOVED that she told me she was burned out and that she was scared about going back to school.

I KNOW Pdocs need to maintain a distance in order to protect themselves. But sometimes (usually) that distance is a wall.

Good for you for sharing about Etta and ducks. I wish more Pdocs did that.
By Soxrox  Jun 02, 2008
i too just found this site, are the past postings and support available to access? i celebrated the solitude and quiet gentleness of my home, animals, and the wonder of nature.
By lowestpoint  May 25, 2008
where can I read the other 3 IALAC articles. I'm new to this website and just found this. The IALAC group sounds good to me. How is it done?
By LoyolaM  May 24, 2008
thank you for this once again. i think that being this force of nature goes hand in hand with the self awareness cuz you have to be aware of what you are not doing and do. another topic i would like to read about from you is one on assertiveness
By missknownada  May 23, 2008
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