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There's strength in acceptance

Unsplash by Simon Lee
Unsplash by Simon Lee
General Update: I’ve been working on some exciting things with the team for the Nucleate Dojo DojoBuilds and DojoTalent programs. I’ve also just accepted my role to help out with communications and content for Ochre Bio which I’m also super excited for! I’m also writing up a literature review for the McGuigan Lab at the University of Toronto on the use of organoid models to accurately map tumour heterogeneity in cancer.
Now the fun stuff!
It blows my mind to think about how much I’ve grown just in the past 4 months. I have benefited a lot by using cognitive restructuring techniques and journal prompts. I started to think a lot about the core beliefs I internalized and how they are currently serving/hindering me. I’d like to share some realizations and writings I’ve had throughout last week.
Two lessons I had to learn the hard way:
  1. Tough love doesn’t always work. There’s this general consensus in the media and in society that exposing yourself to what you fear will help you get over your fear of ‘X’ thing. Do you feel insecure? Set yourself up for criticism or rejection. Do you feel lonely? Maybe you need to learn how to enjoy your own company more. We use this in everyday language too—we say things like, “Eventually you’ll get used to it” or “Go out more and you’ll be more comfortable around new people.” I’m not completely against this idea. But I believe that for core beliefs that were rooted in decades of established grounds and ‘proof,’ maybe exposing ourselves to more proof of reason to our deeply ingrained core beliefs is not effective for the end-goal. I find it hard to believe that exposing myself to more pain and rejection is an effective measure. I’ve learned that through allowing myself to build genuine connections and accepting the pleasures of my day-to-day life, I’ve rewired so many of my very destructive, deeply rooted core beliefs that tell me I’m unworthy and unloveable. I believe that there is strength to exposing myself to the opposite of my core beliefs. I feel unworthy and unloveable, but what if I just allow myself to accept my friend’s support and care? I think we would benefit from focusing on building a more stable core, not just a tough exterior.
  2. Deal with it, don’t get over it. It’s not about getting over something and getting to an end goal, but about enjoying the process. We can be content, but even within that, we’ll still feel all emotions, even emotions we deem “negative.” It’s not about getting to an end state, but about learning how to deal with the current state. It’s not about getting “over” my anxiety, but learning how to deal with my anxiety. And this is liberating. I don’t need to be happy all the time, and I don’t want to because it’s exhausting, I just want to feel. I can just be. And sometimes the very thing we are trying to get over is often our strength.
With love,
Reema 🤍
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Reema AlYousef

sharing stories and exploring human emotion

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