JFS Perspectives

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mental Health Matters: Movements Toward Authenticity

Mental Health Matters: Movements Toward Authenticity

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

One of my favorite childhood books was The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. The Lorax is this creature running around begging big business to stop hurting the Truffula trees: “The trees! The trees! The Truffula trees!”

Last fall, I was driving to work through a predominantly refugee neighborhood. I was passing by refugee families dressed in colorful ethnic clothes mixed with western-style jackets on their walk to school. On that morning I remember thinking, “Who will advocate for them? Who will be there with them if they become bullied and threatened?” I felt much like the Lorax in that moment, running around in my head, my voice full of panic. “The refugees! The refugees! Who will speak for the refugees?!”

I began to realize how much I valued compassion and hospitality for immigrants, those who had survived and escaped war, torture, and oppression. Each morning I also wrestled with different thoughts within myself, thoughts of apathy—“There’s not really much I can do”—to thoughts of hope—“I realized I have a voice and a skill set that would be helpful for those who have survived.”

The Lorax valued the Truffula trees and acted authentically by moving toward this value: he cared for them by using his voice. Since last fall, I have looked for ways to move out of apathy and toward my values. When I move toward my values, I begin to relate to myself and the world differently by living authentically. For my life, I have found that authenticity looks like extending care, kindness, and compassion to those fleeing war, torture, and political oppression.

Below are some ways to move out of apathy and into authenticity. If you would like help exploring values and living authentically, Jewish Family Service has licensed therapists and clinical social workers to walk with you through the process.

Find what you value—your own Truffula trees—and care “a whole awful lot.” Because when we care deeply and live authentically, the world gets better.

Movements Toward 

  1. Values: What do you value? What is important to you? Here’s an excellent resource to start the process of identifying your values: https://thehappinesstrap.com/upimages/complete_worksheets_for_The_Confidence_Gap.pdf
  2. Movements Toward: What is one way you can move toward this value this week?


Lindsay CadeBy Lindsay Cade, LPC
Refugee Mental Health Therapist

Lindsay Cade joined Jewish Family Service in 2017 as a Refugee Mental Health therapist. She specializes in post-trauma therapy, cultural transitions, depression, and anxiety and is LGBTQI-friendly.





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