The Authentic Journey of a Professional Counselor
I normally spend the first moments of most mornings on the front porch swing. It’s become a place of reflection, prayer and a hot cup of coffee.
My authentic journey has led me to become a professional counselor as a second career. By the way, my first one was raising four remarkable human beings in a troubled marriage. The marriage ended after 29 years.
Then, I found a new life with my best friend and dance partner. Our chemistry on the dance floor moved into real life as we became husband and wife. We may have trusted each other too much with beliefs that we could handle his illness. But, after my husband’s second psychotic episode from his bipolar disorder, I had to write. My book, Beyond Messy Relationships: Divine Invitations To Your Authentic Self, is soon to be published.
It was a risk
It was a risk as I wrote many of my personal stories illustrating what I’ve learned as a counselor. After all, most of us mental health therapists don’t share our private lives. Instead, we keep the counseling process a mystery. But we all desire to be authentic. There are times I’ve said to my clients. “If you knew about me what I know about you, you might say, ‘and why are we seeing her as our counselor?’”
I love my profession. Some couples show me their ability to create tenderness between them. Without their knowlege, they’ve helped me gain resolution about my first marriage that I couldn’t save. And they give me hope for my second marriage.
On other days, I come home from the office with a greater appreciation for mine and Joe’s connection. To me, all those times at the office are divine invitations that I get to witness up-close and personal.
Whether it’s couples or individuals, I’m privileged to have entered the sacred spaces of those who trust me. Without them, I would not have the courage to write. And I know what I’ve written is not mine alone. I’ve heard many stories with various themes within the four walls of my office. And after years of searching for meaning, many relationship patterns (that I call dances) are eerily alike.
Of course, writing this book has taken me places I didn’t expect. It’s aroused stories from my journal entries that I had previously forgotten.
This book is not only about shattered dreams, traumatic marriages, or psychotic episodes. It’s about all of us becoming aware of our purpose beyond our messy relationships. It’s about widening our vision to recognize divine invitations for our authentic journey.
Three relationship truths
Through my writing and counseling, there are three things I’m more clear about.
1. All relationships go through seasons of messiness.
2. Divine invitations come through those in-between spaces of our messes.
3. We cannot know our authentic selves apart from the mirrors of our intimate relationships.
My writing Beyond Messy Relationships, has shown me something transcendent. Those who’ve read the manuscript and commented are like divine invitations. There’s a connection between us as reader and writer.
So, as we wait for publication, would you take the time to honor your value, dignity, and worth? You might want to take quiet moments to enjoy a cup of hot tea or coffee as you make space to nurture your soul.
It’s the gentle rocking of the front porch swing that holds my body weight and reminds me of life’s movements. To me, it’s a picture of the security and energy God provides for each of us. And it doesn’t matter if your relationship is like the swing or a roller coaster ride. I believe this book will help you to say “yes” to those divine invitations. Your true self is waiting to be known.