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Brookhaven Retreat is Accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations and is licensed by the State of Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.

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We are a private pay treatment center and do not accept any type of insurance. Costs associated with care are the responsibility of the client.

 

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Brookhaven Retreat Blog - For inspiration, growth & a fresh perspective.

A Girl and Her Father

A Girl and Her Father

Soup au Pistou

Soup au Pistou

Contemplation

Sore Throat Solutions

Can You Give Us A Twirl?

Broccolini Flounder Bake

The Reality of Sexual Assault

World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day

How to Stock Your Pantry: The Essentials

How to Stock Your Pantry: The Essentials

National Pomegranate Month

National Pomegranate Month

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Mental Health Wellness Week

Pineapple Chicken Stir-Fry with Black Bean Sauce

Pineapple Chicken Stir-Fry with Black Bean Sauce

Addicted to Food

Taylor Swift and Anxiety

Taylor Swift and Anxiety

Essential Kitchen Equipment: Back to the Basics

Adele and the Reality of Growing Older

Maureen O’Hara—A Legacy

Maureen O’Hara—A Legacy

What Is Self Care?

Black Lentil Beet Salad

Black Lentil Beet Salad

Helping One Another

Helping One Another

Mental Illness Awareness

Women, You ARE Beautiful!

Women, You ARE Beautiful!

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Unconditional Worth

Unconditional Worth

Empowering or Disheartening?

Pappardelle with Roasted Winter Squash, Arugula, and Pine Nuts

Pappardelle with Roasted Winter Squash, Arugula, and Pine Nuts

Coping with Anger

Art in the News

Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet Potato Salad

Hurricane Prep

Hurricane Prep

Fashion Trends: The Knit Cap

Fashion Trends: The Knit Cap

Alone Time

Chicken with Artichoke-Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

The Arms of Irony

Focus the Mind, Reap the Rewards

Focus the Mind, Reap the Rewards

Chocolate Avocado Cookies

The Necessity of Silence

The Necessity of Silence

Recovery

Recovery

Service with Style

Vietnamese Grilled Steak with Portobellos and Mint-Cilantro Mojo

Family Illness And The Dog

The Social Media Phenomenon

Top 10 Vegetarian Proteins

Know Who You Are

The Body and Soul - 5 Ways to Relax

Dr. Wayne Dyer Lives On

Toasted Ciabatta with Shrimp, Tarragon, and Arugula

Music—It’s More Than Noise

Gluten-Free Not Just for Celiac

Comparison vs. Inspiration

Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00  by Yolanda F.

My mother, who is also a writer, was recently assigned to write a magazine story about a Brooklyn-based artist, whose name she recognized. It turned out to be a distant cousin on her side of the family, whom I met twice as a child when my grandparents took us to visit.

She left a rather strong impression on me and a distinct memory of watching her back handspring across the lawn in her back yard. As if that wasn’t enough, she demonstrated effortless flipping on the gymnastics bar affixed to her bedroom doorway. I was rather entertained and grateful for the up close and personal display of my all-time favorite sport. I also felt quite inferior and somewhat depressed that I would never get there.

I could only do a back handspring with two spotters in gym class. Many of my friends had mastered the art of the back handspring and were moving on to more difficult tricks, like the forward tuck. I drooled over the great gymnasts like Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton, and at the same time, knew I’d probably never even master a handstand. It just wasn’t my thing. I was a dancer and needed to focus on that.

So, my cousin struck me as some sort of superhuman with a talent for tossing her body into the air in ways that would surely end my young life. Soon after meeting her I began having recurring dreams about effortless flipping. Immediately upon waking I’d be sure that I could do it because I had just done it moments before on another plane of reality. Then I’d feel the thud of the actuality of all my limits.

It all came back the other day in a rush of envy and amazement as my mother talked about her unusual talent as an artist, her multiple degrees and the fact that she lived in Brooklyn, a virtual playground for creative types. But what made it so much worse was when she told me she was also born in 1969, a few months younger than I. When we met, I was sure she must be several years older to be able to do what she did.

This is one of my lessons for the week---which seem to fire in my direction like a machine gun of challenge, scrutiny and information---not to compare myself to others. I’ve learned this before somewhere along the line, probably in dance class, but the older I get the more important it becomes in my eternal battle with depression, anxiety and perfectionism.

My cousin and I have led completely different lives, though similar in many ways, because we are different people. The point is that life is not a contest. But I suppose I’m still suffering from an inferiority complex born long ago. I was the shortest girl in my class, always, and therefore consistently chosen last to be on any given team in gym class. If there had been a dance team (other than cheerleading where tumbling was required) or a singing team, or perhaps a writing team, I might have been chosen first.

We all have our own gifts and levels of achievement. Not everyone is meant to be the best this or the highest-ranked that. Better to celebrate our own talents and let other people inspire and motivate us with their accomplishments. So, what do you think I did after I heard about my cousin and what a wonderful artist she is? I wrote another piece for the magazine I now edit and felt grateful for my own talent. Then I kissed my children and thought about how many years I’ve focused on making sure they grow up to be loving, creative, peaceful people. Now that is a great accomplishment!

Last modified on Thursday, 12 February 2015 05:19

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