What I’ve Figured Out about Enjoying My Life

As a young adult, I’ve been thinking a lot about building my life to be the way I want it and about going for1 my dreams—about how to enjoy life, which I think is a revolutionary thing to do. In fact, I’ve always thought about the future—where I want to live and with whom, what I want to do, how I want society to look. But I didn’t realize I’d already figured out some things until I had an enlightening conversation with a good friend, who is also my roommate.

She is going through a rough time in her life and looking for inspiration. She asked me, “How do you endure life; how do you have strength for it?” It took me a few minutes until I could answer, because at first I didn’t think I did anything special. I thought, “I just live, and I happen to be lucky enough to enjoy it as well.” But then I realized that I’d actually done a lot to build my life so that I liked it (and therefore “had strength for it”). Here are the things I told her I’d figured out (and a few more I’ve thought of since):

I live with two really good friends. (This is probably the most important thing.) We love each other deeply, show ourselves fully, and laugh a lot together. We see each other as partners for life, no less than how we would think of a romantic partner.

I have a lot of close relationships and make time to be with friends. I go after2 people I like and care about, even if they don’t come after me as much.

I think about and choose things I want to do, and I make the time to do them—both big things, like a job or a school program, and short-term ones, like hobbies, hiking, gardening, and art.

I take on3 small challenges all the time. I think of something I want to do, and go after it and do it, even if it scares me. I set it up so I will succeed: I do a lot of Co-Counseling sessions about it, build support for myself, and then do it with a friend. This means that I always have something to look forward to and am constantly moving forward in what I can do, and how I can be, in the world.

I don’t allow myself to feel bad about myself in the present (except sometimes in a Co-Counseling session). I made a firm decision a while ago not to believe any recordings4 of feeling bad about myself. I remind myself that they are not connected to the present and that I’ve always done the best I could. I have become my ally instead of the bully I used to be. (It doesn’t always work, but it’s much better than it was in the beginning. I often don’t even need to remind myself consciously now; my mind knows to do it already.)

I do a lot of Co-Counseling sessions. After the last RC young adult leaders’ conference, I understood that Co-Counseling is a real part of my life, not something I do in order to feel better in my “real” life—that my Co-Counseling relationships are real in every way. That enabled me to get closer to my Co-Counselors, bring them more into my life and my mind, and show them more of myself and my life. It also made me want more for them, which made me more powerful and connected as counselor.

When I am client, I try to be strategic about my sessions, choose what I want to work on, and go early.5 In my life I notice areas in which I am restimulated or don’t have my flexible thinking and try to remember to work on them in sessions. I also notice things that are a contradiction6 for me and use them.

Another important thing is that I am honest with my counselors. I try to have integrity and be open and real about things I have thought or have done. This brings me closer to my counselors and leads to a lot of discharge as well. At the end of my sessions I tell about something I have liked or enjoyed in my life recently. Since doing that, I’ve noticed and appreciated many more things. “Small” nice things that could have gone unattended get attention and become more noticeable and important.

I also lead in Re-evaluation Counseling. This keeps my mind fresh, keeps me thinking about re-emergence, and reminds me more often of the benign reality.

I would love to hear what other people (you guys and gals!) have figured out as well.

Timna Raz
Jerusalem, Israel
Reprinted from the
RC e-mail discussion list
for leaders of young adults 

1 “Going for” means pursuing.
2 “Go after” means pursue.
3 “Take on” means undertake.
4 Distress recordings
5 “Go early” means discharge early distress.
6 Contradiction to distress

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00