As a young girl, I took much pleasure in browsing through all kinds of magazines: the photographs of fingernails painted in red even helped me to stop biting my nails. As a teenager (also later on,) I loved to read the columns and articles of women who gave advice about any topic you can think of. Mostly women wrote to the author of such column – usually with a header like ‘Dear Mona’ – and asked questions about their relationship (or the lack of having one), about health issues, household tips and even now and then political issues were addressed.
When you asked me around the age of seven, what I wanted to be as an adult, I answered ‘a psychologist for children’. Children of my age, who needed a listening ear always seemed to be attracted to me. Even adults told me their problems, which years later I understood weren’t topics for a young girl to talk and worry about.
As the eldest of children in a merged family I was often the listening ear for the youngsters. Nowadays it still regularly occurs, talking to another person, even strangers: within five minutes people tell me their life-stories, or the recent issues they deal with.
During my life, I often needed a listening ear myself: my mother divorced twice, re-married for a third time and I had to deal with trying to get along with new family members. Moving from one place to another more than once, transferring schools, making new friends. Finding my biological grandparents, dealing with losing them too soon.
Unfortunately, no stranger to emotional abuse either. Feeling lonely among all those Beautiful Souls here on earth and constantly having to be aware of not getting depressed… I had to go through that too.
Life was at times a roller coaster and I didn’t become a psychologist for children. I got divorced myself once, remarried and due to my husbands work we relocated to another country. The wish to be there for my neighbors, however, never changed. Today, I am a researcher, philosopher, blogger and a multidisciplinary skilled helper. Through the years, I learned that empathic active listening during a conversation will be more effective as giving advice.
The right questions and tools
No matter our background, upbringing, current situation, gender, age or belief-system, we all question ourselves at times. Finding the answers corresponding to our unique personality, figuring out what lifestyle fits best and fully embrace ourselves can be quite a challenge.
Life is an ongoing process, change inevitable and the perfect way does not exist. However, the right questions will lead to the root cause of insecurities, doubts or low self-esteem. The right tools will uncover unique main values, enabling to make choices with confidence.