Figs O’Sullivan is a Licensed Psychotherapist, Emotionally-Focused Therapy practitioner, and commander-in-chief for the top-rated therapists in San Francisco.
Born in Ireland to students of the human experience and now raising two children with his wife, Teale, in Hawaii, Figs has met as many different kinds of people as he has therapy methods. And yet, what he discovered about how humans heal was incredibly simple.
And often really, really difficult for people to achieve without guidance.
Cats and Dogs rarely play with the same toy again and again. Sure, they have their favorites they’ll pick up every now and then but they will typically bounce around to different ones or lose interest all together.
However, what do they yearn for? Sleep, Exercise, Companionship, and Belonging.
Somehow, they’ve figured out that, “Whoever dies with the most toys doesn’t win.”
Although we might be the “smartest” species in the room, we could learn something from them if we were open to it.
The Truth About Cats And DogsBrian Ondrako2022-05-02T08:43:51-04:00
One of the more interesting things about social media is that we can get judged very often, both directly and indirectly. Comments and likes and DMs and even a “non-response” could be perceived a certain way.
But then there’s the “unfollow”. Someone took the time to follow and look at your stuff and then at some point realized it’s not for them.
We have to get comfortable with this. Rejection is a part of life. People will come and go. This happens on social media and in “real life” outside of it.
People don’t respond. People ghost us. People don’t make the effort. As Abraham Lincoln quote says, “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”
Not everyone will like us. In fact, most won’t.
The ones who do are in it with us.
Those people. Those are our tribe.
Those are the ones we need to cherish and take time for. Those are the ones we need to recognize and reciprocate.
It can’t be one-sided. A relationship works both ways. We need to give more than we take. We need to be empathetic. We need to be encouraging.
Otherwise, we might just get another “unfollow” and this time it might hurt a little bit more.
As we think back about our best memories, they are always simple and we are normally surrounded by others.
I think about the moment I found out we were having a baby.
I think about the first moment I held him.
I think about playing golf with my son.
I think about falling in love.
I think about pick-up football games with my friends.
I think about sitting in my grandmother’s dining area and having a conversation with her.
I think about playing video games with my brother.
I think about my first CrossFit competition and being around my team.
I think about all of these memories and so many more and what they might have in common.
We need to go back to 1st Principles thinking. Break down our finest memories and happiest moments. What are the simple building blocks that made them what they are?
These are some things that come to mind.
If we can do things that hit one or more of these buckets then we are going to have the opportunity to create many happy memories and build an unbelievable life for ourselves and the people around us.
Seek to do more of those things and happiness will inevitably follow.
The Happiest Place On EarthBrian Ondrako2022-07-17T09:09:34-04:00
It’s been 3 years since my wife and I got divorced. Funny how that much time has passed. Funny to think what we could’ve changed to make it work.
A lot of things for sure.
But, then again, it was probably the right decision. We were both unhappy.
Why stay in something that you are “lukewarm” about, at best?
But that’s what we do as humans. We sort of just settle in for what feels comfortable. We do whatever we can to hold the walls up around us in order to eliminate the abrupt pain of it all caving in at once.
We fail to recognize that having the walls cave in can allow us to rebuild a stronger foundation from the ground up. We can create a more solid structure that is long-lasting.
It doesn’t mean we have to run from every bad situation but it could mean that we have to take a hard look inward on why this is happening in the first place.
What have we done to get here? What have we done to cause this situation? What has been out of our control? How can we change for the better?
Change is really hard. I remember the time between getting “separated” and then actually leaving the house we built together. Those 5 weeks transitioning to leave the house and officially, by legal standards, become separated were brutal.
I cried a lot.
I was heartbroken.
I was depressed.
I was sad.
But then, I wasn’t.
Sure, I can be sad that we weren’t madly in love like many years prior. I can be sad that our son has to be a part of a co-parenting situation. I can be sad that the happy moments we had together would be clouded by this decision we made.
But that’s all a matter of perspective. I had the choice to be happy or sad.
So I chose to be happy.
Everything ends at some point. That’s the rub of life. It all eventually ends. Our situation ended just a bit more abruptly than originally planned. Our story just took a different direction down the wandering path.
But, I’m happy I had those moments with her. I was madly in love, and I know she was, too.
I’m happy my son gets to spend time with each of us individually and grow a stronger bond. He gets to grow up going through some shit. That’s only going to make him more resilient.
I’m happy with all those moments of happiness, laughter, and fun we had together. We had some great times. But I’m also happy for the less-than-desirable moments, too. Because, as I reflect, it’s made me grow as a person and be a better version of myself. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to go through hard times to figure that stuff out.
Life is never easy but if I’ve learned anything it’s that negativity and pessimism almost get you nowhere. I’m sure someone can tell me there is some utility to it but not much that I’ve seen.
If we can take every situation, no matter how dire, and work our way to see the sunshine and rainbows then we have a much better chance of finding the happiness inside ourselves and using that as fuel to power us forward.
It’s hard to get there when we think the world is always giving us a bad hand to play.
Once we accept that we may not have played the hand correctly then it can make it much easier to respect the outcome and move on.
It doesn’t mean we forget about the past as those moments and experiences helped define who we are, good or bad. But it gives us the opportunity to use those moments and learn from them.
We have the opportunity to start anew. Not from square one but from much farther ahead because of the wealth of knowledge we’ve gained through all of it.
Be open to change. Be receptive to it. Embrace it.
Serendipity is all around us and when we embrace it great things can start to form. I’ve met many influential people in my life by chance. But it doesn’t happen magically by sitting around, we have to create some spark through action.
Go to that new coffee shop
Attend that event
Message that person
Join that new fitness challenge
Go do that open mic
Go run in the park
Ask someone out
Sometimes it’s nothing. But sometimes it’s everything.
Life is serendipitous.
One day you’re going along just fine and then, boom, you meet someone you weren’t sure how you lived a life without for this long.
Lathan W. Craft is an International Best-Selling Author and highly-respected speaker. He is the host of the nationally-recognized podcast ‘The Other Side of the Church’ which features regular guests such as Matthew West, Blanca, and Bob Goff- who Lathan has also worked closely with.
Lathan has been featured on various podcasts and radio shows such as The Crappy Christian Podcast, Are You Real? Podcast, and Faith Positive Radio. He is the founder of Made for Purpose, a coaching and consulting business helping people work in their design and description. He is the founder of A Heartbeat From Hope, a non-profit organization giving individualized hope to the most hopeless of places. He is also the founder of After-Words, helping writers write their stories before it’s too late.
Lathan has degrees and is highly esteemed in Psychology, Counseling, Leadership, and Ministry. He has been regarded as an expert in belonging, ostracization, and the power of words. Ultimately, Lathan has devoted his life to researching and articulating the importance of belonging, and how words truly can change the world.
There are definitely times we need to be alone. Sometimes we need a breather from everyone else. Disconnecting from the world can be healthy for our mental state.
But, we shouldn’t hang out there too long. There are tremendous benefits from being around people who are on our side and support us. We all strive for belonging and we benefit from being able to converse with people that can listen and help us when we need it.
But, ultimately, we have to take the leap and ask for that help because most people may not know that we need it. That can be the hardest thing to do. Asking, reaching out a hand, being vulnerable. We think it makes us look weak but it can be one of the most courageous things we can do.
Next time we are scared, helpless, or feeling off a bit we have to try and take a leap of faith and be courageous. Phone a friend. Ask for help. It’s amazing how quickly they’ll jump to be there for us.
In these circumstances, the opportunities that can come from working as a team far outweigh anything we can do alone.
This month I would be celebrating my 10 year wedding anniversary.
But we didn’t make it much past year 7.
In a strange way, I still celebrate that day and spend time thinking about the past.
The good times and the bad. The ups and the downs. The lessons I wish I knew then but only learned much later.
The outcome may not have changed. Different people with different values may not have worked out if we played it back 100 different ways.
And that’s why I reflect.
It’s okay that it didn’t work out.
I still cherish the time we had together. The early days were really fun. I was in love and I know she was, too. We’ll always have that time etched in the archives of our story.
It was a big part of my journey to get where I am today. I’m more grateful than heartbroken.
I don’t look at divorce as a failure. In fact, it could be considered a win. We both have the chance to learn and change. We both have the chance to explore new horizons we might not have ventured into. We both can use the past as a lesson to help in the future.
The story of “us” looks different than it did 10 years ago and just because it might not have the fairytale ending doesn’t mean there can’t be a silver lining to it all.
So, cheers to whatever you are celebrating that has been a big chapter in the story of your life!