Saturday, August 30, 2008

what i know of love



I saw what I saw and I can't forget it
I heard what I heard and I can't go back
I know what I know and I can't deny it
Something on the road, cut me to the soul

Your pain has changed me
your dreams inspire
your face a memory
your hope a fire
your courage asks me what I'm afraid of
(what I am made of)
and what I know of love

we've done what we've done and we can't erase it
we are what we are and it's more than enough
we have what we have but it's no substitution
Something on the road, touched my very soul

I say what I say with no hesitation
I have what I have and I'm giving it up
I do what I do with deep conviction
Something on the road, changed my world
as a graduate student working on a degree in counseling, i have just completed my first week of a 9-month internship at a counseling center in town. my days were a mix of ups and downs as i moved through feelings of confidence and doubt in my ability to be a professional in this field. making good grades and having the ability to spout off some of the latest knowledge are not enough to make me an effective counselor. static presentations in the classroom can never equal the ever-dynamic practice of the art. that, i have discovered, can be learned only in the midst of actual experience, scary though that may be. all i can do for the time being is to bring all that i have, which is myself, and trust that that is enough.

i saw this video online tonight, and, though written with a different aim in mind, the lyrics get to the heart of the type of counselor i want to be. some of the theoretical roots of psychology declare that the therapist should be a blank screen, unaffected by the client to whom she is listening. most (though not all) counselors today would probably disagree with that sentiment, and rightly so. i believe that those with whom i have the privilege of working will touch my life in meaningful ways, just as i will touch theirs. i have chosen as a profession to sit with people as they tell stories of pain, of dreams, of hope, of courage, and of love. i will be one who bears witness--one who stands beside to challenge and to cheer. and through that relationship, change will come on both sides.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

bright colors

"I don't spend a lot of time worrying about getting it all right...As long as you're honestly trying to be about loving and healing, people can tell. Anything less than that is just a sell, and nobody's buying it." Becca Stevens, as quoted in hernashville (Aug 08)
sometimes it feels so difficult to be about loving and healing. self-interest seems a lighter load to bear because there is less risk, less vulnerability, less engagement, less energy, less certainty. and yet i know that turning too much inward leaves me isolated in a faded, pastel world that does not feel real. it makes me inauthentic. it turns me into a mysterious bystander, observing but rarely participating. that is not who i want to be. living with empathy and compassion, truly present to those around me, is what gives bright colors to life.

Monday, August 25, 2008

awake, open, present

i have been laying in bed for a while, tossing and turning. such sleeplessness comes not from worry or fear--not tonight. what is keeping me awake into these early morning hours is none other than inspiration. a seemingly familiar muse is calling my name, and i am remembering in part what it feels like to respond.

this is the year that i will turn thirty, and i've recently realized that i know more and more each day who i am. i'm also beginning to accept the fact that i can choose who i want to be. i'm not stuck in this space that contains me. i am free to move around. i recently read a lovely quote (attributed to george bernard shaw) that says, "life is not about finding yourself. life is about creating yourself." i like the turn of phrase. and so i have been thinking as of late about who it is that i would like to be. i've written before about life, journey, growth, wholeness, thoughts, hopes, and dreams. time and again i've mentioned this notion of a place of possibility. tonight i would add to that list words like beauty, truth, love, and goodness. these are the things i want to cultivate, the things i want to be about. i feel as though i'm just on the edge of stepping into these ethereal concepts in some practical ways. i am awake. i am open. i am present.