*it’s long* – if you skip, I won’t be offended. I am putting it here because I trust G+ to save my writings more than facebook – and there is a chance this might help/be interesting to even one person in my G+ side of life. This is my response to a women I am good friends with, named Heather, who is a professional Counselor who bared a bit of her soul as to ”How come the stuff that works with patients doesn’t work at home?” She, like me, bares what she can publicly for many of the same reasons I do my own. It’s public and personal at the same time, one of the most emotionally freeing ways to write anything. To those that lasted to this sentence, good luck to you. She always gets my yappy side going – which doesn’t take much – but I don’t think I ever said this much in one place at one time. I love you all, truly, even if we may never meet in person. -Ken
THIS IS MY RESPONSE TO MY FRIEND.
It’s true, Heather and it is so frustrating. In high school, I knew being a middle school guidance counselor or a minister or a scientist or a doctor was my calling. I became none of those things (not outwardly), and went into computers and business. You see, in my early 20s, I decided to find out *all* about each of the professions. I interviewed two psychologists in real life; friends of mine who were seeing therapists who agreed to give me a few minutes of their time, when I said I was interested in becoming a therapist. They gave it all to me straight up, the goods, the bads, their own feelings. I listened and asked questions and listened some more. It is a profession one can enter at any stage of life, young adult or older. That took the desperation off of it – the ”I *have* to do this -now-, or else” feeling. I also learned about the sadness and loneliness that sometimes follows, especially in that in most you never get to see the successes. The frustration of ”I know so much, but I can do so little” sometimes. I also learned how the desire to help people you don’t know is due to wanting to help yourself and the people you DO know. It was eye-opening to me and it was enough data, so I moved on to investigating religions and spiritual stuff, which are other stories for other times.
But from that and the intervening years leading up to today, I learned, ”You can’t be a prophet in your own hometown.” That is, the people closest to you are the ones you will least be able to help directly, if at all. It’s such a cognitive mi-matching: ”This pattern works in the office, why won’t it work here?” Unfortunately, it’s precisely BECAUSE it’s not the office, you’re not the counselor, and these aren’t your patients.
Different hats, different roles, different expectations of ”Who Heather is” by different people who aren’t coming to you with the anticipation of, ”This woman will help me” or even ”There’s no way this woman can help me.” What you do at work is a ”Black Box” – a mystery that those close to you really don’t want to open. They like you in the roles that you play. And really, your friends and family and neighbors ”know too much” about you. They’ve seen your mistakes. They know your humanity.
To those you help, you are wearing a Uniform, so to speak. You are The Healer – and even those who resist your efforts only do so to try to maintain their own sense of self-integrity; they fear that you will tear them down into component parts and put them back together in a way that they are unfamiliar with.
Unfamiliar emotional or mental or inner territory is absolutely no different than being a stranger to yourself with no recall of who you are, stick in a foreign land, hopelessly lost, aimlessly wandering, blind with only your hand to guide them to their new Selves.
What is your role to each person in your life? You are in a multi-act play, where different stories are played by the same actor, You, and you wear different costumes and have different accents and work with a different cast of characters, as each 18 hour a day, every day play carries on.
Who is in your cast of characters at each Act in the script? What role do they see you in? Does it say in your script:
”HEATHER as Mom:
HEATHER as counselor:
HEATHER as wife:
HEATHER as friend:
HEATHER on Facebook:”
I know your frustration well and the major mismatch of patterns in my own mind, when my mind says, ”If follow procedure 1 then 2 then 3, my result will be 4” without seeing that these are actions that require land under my feet, but I am actually swimming in the middle of the ocean.
Right words, right actions in the right environment with the right people.
Change any of those things, and your inner formulas don’t work as well – or won’t work at all.
So you need to use different formulas, different procedures.
I could talk about this subject for hours on end – it’s one of my favorites – and it is a part of what I am eyeballs deep in trying desperately to completely understand, to come up with; finding or filling in this Gap in our human knowledge, or at least in my own. I’m getting closer many times a day. When I get the answer, you’ll be the first to know.