This post is based on an Instagram Live interview with my friend and fellow therapist, Jesie Steffes, LPC. Join me for Riverbend Therapy Chats each Monday afternoon on Instagram Live (@riverbendtherapy) as I discuss mental health topics and answer your questions with my colleagues.
When I was younger, I, like many of my peers, gushed and swooned when Tom Cruise declared to Renée Zellweger, "You complete me!" in Jerry Maguire. I remember thinking how great it seemed, how romantic and effortless, to be completed by someone else.
And it’s not just Jerry Maguire. Our culture is constantly telling us that we’re not whole until someone completes us. How many times have you listened to a friend gush about a new beau that makes her feel whole? How many times have you felt like if you only achieved a certain milestone you’d be happy? How many times have you referred to your partner or spouse as your “other half”?
For many years, that was me. I believed that I would feel complete when someone stepped into my life, or when I fulfilled a dream I held. I was always looking outside myself for things that would make me feel whole. As a result, I spent a lot of time feeling like I was waiting, like my life had stalled.
The truth is, I was never incomplete. My wholeness was just hidden and evolving. And that isn’t just true for me—it’s true for all of us. You, reading this right now, are whole. You complete yourself.
Maybe that seems hard to believe. Maybe you feel broken, or in need of rescue, or lost at this moment. Or maybe you have everything you thought you wanted—that you thought would make you complete—and you still feel lacking. But the truth is that you are whole, you simply have yet to uncover the wholeness that exists within you.
That idea is one topic at the heart of the new Women’s Empowerment Group I’m leading with my friend and fellow therapist, Jesie Steffes, LPC. We talked about it on River Bend Therapy Chats on Instagram Live this week, and will explore it in-depth in the group. Over the course of 10 weeks, in a space of support and sisterhood, we’ll dive into questions like, “How do we find wholeness in ourselves?” “How do we do that while still engaging in healthy relationships?” “How can we be complete yet also continually evolving?”
So let’s dip our toes in today! What does it mean to complete yourself? And, if you don’t already feel that way, how can you take steps in that direction?
1. Be Your Own Provider
When I was a single parent going through a divorce, I realized that I needed to rely on myself to meet my own needs. It was challenging, of course, but it was also truly empowering to learn to meet my emotional and practical needs. After being coupled for so much of my life, it felt beautiful to be my own provider. The next time you find yourself feeling incomplete without someone or something else, ask yourself, “How can I meet this need for myself? How can I be my own provider?”
2. Decide Through a Moment
When you need someone or something to feel complete, it can seem like your life has stalled and you’re just waiting. This can make you feel frustrated and fixated on your discontentment. But those moments of waiting and stillness provide you with a choice, as I often discuss with my clients. You can either slide through the moment—trying to get through it as quickly and painlessly as possible—or you can decide through the moment. Deciding through a moment looks like using that time to be intentional, listen to your voice, and get to know yourself further, to lean into growth and self-discovery. So the next time you feel stuck in your life—maybe you’re wishing you weren’t single or pining for a promotion—ask yourself how you can use that waiting space to better know yourself and your desires.
3. Find Your Mirror
Learning to feel like you complete yourself doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t cultivate and lean into a support system! As you’re on your journey to feel whole, it’s important to find people you trust fully who can act as a mirror for you and help you have a kinder and more honest picture of yourself. Turn to the people who allow you to fully be yourself and invite them into your journey to wholeness. Ask them not to cheerlead for you—rubber-stamping everything you do or filling your ears with platitudes—but to champion you, to be on your team and move with you through the world, while also being honest and pushing you towards growth.
Jesie and I are excited to make the Women’s Empowerment Group a space of women championing other women. As I talked about recently, empowerment radiates out: When we heal and empower ourselves, we heal and empower all the women in our lives. This group will be a powerful catalyst for you to make change and feel whole, and it will help you connect in a safe and authentic way with other women who will hold you up and help you uncover yourself.
No matter where you find yourself on your journey to wholeness, I hope you will join our Women’s Empowerment Group. We’ll meet for 10 weeks every Tuesday, from 6-7:30 p.m. MT, beginning August 25th. Space in the group is limited, and sign-ups are open; for more information or to fill out an interest form, please see my website. If you have any questions, please email me or reach out on Facebook or Instagram.
What is stopping you from feeling whole? Please share this with anyone who has helped you on your journey to wholeness!