Read the following when I logged onto Facebook this morning:
“I have a counseling appointment this afternoon. Three members of my family are currently in counseling with more to come.
May I send a bit of love and encouragement to everyone who steps into counseling or therapeutic space for your own soul, marriage, family, or healing? Ditto to those of you sending your hurt kids? Whether you go for preventative maintenance or because you are hanging on by a thread…
There is NOTHING weak about being in the care of a counselor. That is STRONG. That tells me that you are not passively waiting for your strength, your healing. You are DOING THE WORK, poking the bear…..
Bravo, I say! May we grab onto any tool possible as we pursue healthy marriages, healthy kids, and healthy souls….”
I never know who may stumble across something I post here in this little corner of the Internet, nor what frame of mind you’re in when you’re here. My thoughts today go out to the hurting, the struggling, the wounded, the deeply confused and befuddled, the broken hearted. (if you’re on your game, then good for you. I know that’s where I would live all the time if I had my druthers..unfortunately, life doesn’t always allow that to happen. Sometime, life has a way of broadsiding me, even when I’ve been a good boy and have been playing by the rules….
I need to tell you a story.
The first year of marriage, wife and I were going through some crazy, painful, interpersonal stress. Nothing in all my years of growing up had prepared me for it. Nothing.
And I didn’t have a clue as to what to do about it.
I went to a men’s conference with my dad during this time , and struck up a conversation with a Pastor at coffee break. (He was probably 10 to 15 years older than I.) He casually mentioned part of his job was helping the families in his church work through issues. (One of the things I liked about this guy was he did not strike me as a nerd. Too many times, the guys who wind up in pastoral rolls, seem to be effeminate and bookish, and to meet someone with a spiritual perspective on life, and yet also possess a masculinity that our politically correct culture disdains…..well, it was refreshing….
In the back of my mind, I really wanted to know how this man would approach the issues that were vexing my wife and I… I got in touch with him a few weeks later, asked if we could meet even though we didn’t go to their church, and asked if his wife would also join us. He agreed to both (meeting and having his wife present).
As I recall, she started by saying, she was not a trained counselor, and wondered if there was anything she could add to our time together? I assured her there was….because I wanted to pick their brains as a couple…
…Had they ever battled with the presenting issues we brought with us?
How would they respond?
We ended up spending less than an hour with them. It was a watershed, life changing meeting. It was empowering.
Came away with some practical wisdom that enabled us to get “unstuck”…
Flash forward from there on out…
From that point on, whether we were dealing with money issues, parenting issues, anxiety and panic attack issues, depression issues, PTSD, addiction issues, grief, If something cropped up that had the potential to derail (one or several of us) we began the habit of proactively addressing the issue(s)
Call it life coaching if you want….The end result is to not suffer in silence. Take a risk, open your life to someone you trust.
If you’re not sure where to start, maybe you know someone who has been in for counseling.. ask them…if not, feel free to leave me a message or shoot me an e-mail and I would be more than happy to give you some tips, share resources, etc.
side note- there have been several times in my life now where I didn’t have to spend a dime…resources like a good book written on the issue at hand, a trusted wiser friend, was all that it took.