What if we could receive as much as we give?
True confession: I have a hard time receiving compliments. Instead of a simple thank you, I fumble through with responses like, oh, this ole thing, I got it on sale, or some other self-deprecating comment. And when it comes to asking for, or accepting, help, well that’s part of a looong journey.
I wanted to know how common this is among us No. 1s. I sat down with Dulce Orozco, a licensed mental health counselor, to find out. Here are excerpts from our chat last week.
What in your experience is the most common struggle among immigrant daughters?
During my time working with women of color and from immigrant families, I have identified recurring patterns that apply to many women of color and those from immigrant families like myself.
Those patterns include guilt, difficulty setting boundaries, struggle with feeling that we are deserving, and not knowing how to put ourselves first.
I am fully aware that all these struggles happen to many women; that being said, they seem to be amplified when you are a woman of color and come from an immigrant family. Issues of cultural identity, immigration, and even legal status can play a role and get in the way.
How do you recommend we begin or advance our healing process?
As simple as it sounds, it seems to me that we can’t get started with our healing process until we give ourselves permission to get help. So many of us think of ourselves as highly independent, borderline with the pride of not needing anyone or being the one that helps, the one that takes care of people and has the answers, which makes it hard to be the one receiving help.
So opening the “I am willing to ask for and get help” box can create a whole new world of being the receiver and being at the other end.
This may be hard, and you may have more resistance to it than you think, but that is totally okay and normal. The important thing is to get started with compassionate action.
If you could wave a magic wand over us, what would you wish for?
I wish that we could see ourselves in the same way God/ the Universe/ energy/ your Higher Self sees you: As a unique, powerful, and amazing being. That way, it would be easier to love, respect, and honor ourselves so that we could let our light shine to the max without doubting what we are capable of.
For those of us who are moms, what’s some advice to ensure that we minimize intergenerational trauma?
Take care of yourself first, put yourself first, and get help first. Once you have this space and learn some tools to deal with your own pain and trauma, you can have more resources to help others.
It is a lot to expect yourself to know how to do all of this on your own. Please remember that getting help is not a sign of weakness and practicing self-care is not selfish.
Dulce works with immigrant women through therapy and workshops, which you can learn more about on her website.
Together in healing,