The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog


To Get What’s Broken Blessed

 

You know, people come to therapy really for blessing. Not so much to fix what’s broken, but to get what’s broken blessed.” ~James Hillman

I saw this quote this morning and it echoes with the truth of what I know as someone who sits with and holds space for just such a miraculous experience to occur.

I’ve been a therapist in one form or another since 1979 when I immersed myself in training and service at a counseling center in Glassboro, NJ. It was called Together, Inc. and it is where I ‘cut my teeth’ on ground level, grass roots, basic, Psychology 101 counseling. Active Listening  was the central focus of the skill sets we brought to the sessions. All these years later, I think of it as ‘listening with the ears of the heart.’ and being a reflective pond or mirror for the one who is speaking.

It was a combined 24 hour crisis hotline, youth shelter, women’s program and rape crisis program. It was staffed by folks who had graduated from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and/or were in the psych or sociology tracks there. We came from a strengths based perspective that shone the light on not only what wasn’t working in the person’s life, but what they had going for them. My view was that is was also an ideal (for myself at least) petri dish for growing awareness, expansion and deepening internal exploration for the counselors. Since I have found that we teach what we need to learn, I gathered a wealth of information and experience in that setting and from working in the trenches there, remain close to my friends who shared the experience.

The next evolutionary leap occurred in the early 80’s between college and grad school when I (and I’m not sure how this door was opened) worked for The South Jersey Council on Alcoholism, providing education for teachers on the subject of drug and alcohol abuse prevention so that they in turn, could pass the information on to their students. We also supported the S.O.B.E.R (Slow on the bottle, enjoy the road) campaign. Back then, I was a young, rather inexperienced presenter, using cue cards and feeling pretty awkward in front of groups. I was paired with a slightly older (maybe mid 30-something) counselor from Catholic Social Services who seemed polished and professional and infinitely more at ease when he spoke to the teachers. When I asked him how he did it, his response was simple: “Stories. When you have stories to share, it will seem so much easier.” That explanation satisfied me and helped me to feel less broken, as if there was nothing wrong with me for not being as articulate as this man who had been in the field far longer than I had. All these years later, I wish I could find him and thank him for that kindness and tell him that public speaking is one of my greatest joys and passions and that I finally have plenty of stories to share.

I have since worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings with folks who sometimes feel broken beyond repair. Wounded by the anger of others, wounded by their own inner demons, wounded by the subsequent choices they have made; they imagine that they will never heal. It is then that I need to go inside and be aware of the places within myself that have felt that way and called out for understanding and acceptance and a healing balm to be spread on them. It is like pouring Holy Water on the boo boos that have accumulated over the years. When I am present with my clients, I am able to bridge that sometimes seemingly impassable chasm between themselves and their spiritual Source. These days, one of my hats is that of a therapist in drug and alcohol treatment program called Rehab After Work. There I serve folks in recovery from various addictions. In that setting, spirituality is a common topic for discussion since many go to AA and NA meetings in  which the concept of Higher Power or the God of Our Understanding is part of the vernacular. Since I am also an ordained interfaith minister, it seems natural to incorporate whatever spiritual beliefs they have (I don’t impose mine) into the therapeutic process. The other day it occurred to me that HP can also stand for Higher Perspective since my sense is that tapping into God-essence can help us see the bigger picture. Reframing ‘broken’ to ‘broken open’ can provide the blessing that can allow for more love and more light to enter the cracks.

 

“Maybe where the heart breaks in two, that’s the only place Grace can get through and find you.” David Wilcox

http://youtu.be/XJz6ZLtJpA0 In the Broken Places by David Wilcox

www.rehabafterwork.com

www.kaizenlifecoach.com/listening_skills.html for one source of information about Active Listening skills



Previous Posts

How Do You Create A Life That You Love?
  One of the most essential questions you can ask yourself,  is the one presented in the title of this article. We have a choice to experience an existence that takes us from the day of our birth to the day of our death, with the 'same old, same old' activities that is about getting by OR w

posted 9:29:54pm Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Is Sleep Highly Over-rated?
    I had long believed and expressed that sleep was highly over-rated whenever someone would ask how I managed to maintain what I called a 'crazy-busy' schedule that included a full time job, several over-lapping consulting jobs, raising a child as a single parent after being widowe

posted 9:08:03am Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »

The Gift of Vulnerability
A quote from one of my favorite books has set the stage for an ongoing process in my life. The Velveteen Rabbit is a tale of a little boy whose toys dispense wisdom to each other,  the child and the reader of this classic. The rabbit, who is a bit insecure and wondering if the tot will favor him, a

posted 10:17:06am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

On the Elevator
  Yesterday I received a surprise in the mail. It was a tiny pocket sized book called Back To Joy that was compiled by author June Cotner. It contains tidbits of wisdom from the likes of Anne Lamott, John Welwood, Winston Churchill, Helen Keller, Rachel Carson, Og Mandino and someone else wh

posted 9:26:51pm Jan. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Wabi Sabi Walls
    The Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi is defined in Wikipedia as: " A comprehensive  Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete".

posted 9:31:09pm Jan. 23, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.