Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Chocolate isn't a feeling. Wine might be.

I don't know if I'll be any good as a counselor. It seems that most counselors have the desire to change people. Make them better. Help them be better. A good listener can certainly help you sort yourself out. That kind of counseling works. And mediation, we sometimes can't work things out between the two of us, and we need a third person. Unbiased. If there is such  a thing (at least, someone who chooses to not connect personally or develop a crush on one of the clients- that's effective enough). When we need someone to give us some direction, there is always a counselor happy to give you their opinion, guidance and find out your strengths, purposes, and perhaps, even understand your feelings!

If you don't want to understand your feelings, I would suggest you do not go to therapy. I would  suggest you continue to numb your pain with your vice of choice. I was given a big sheet of paper with feelings on it once. "Chocolate" was not a feeling, so I didn't put much stock in it.

Anyway. I'm not so sure I really want to help people find out what job would be just so great for them, or for them to connect with their innermost feelings, or for them to "live their best life now." Seems like you'll either figure it out or you won't. Seems like some people have the right instruction manual to life and some people don't. Who handed it to them? Parents? God? Nature? Nurture? Teacher? Friend? I have not a clue.

Some people are broken, and they are strong. Some people are broken, and they are weak. Some people have very decent reasons for being so messed up and some don't really have a reason at all.  Some kids turn out OK and some do not. Decent people wish other people that aren't decent just would be. Come on, get your act together, it's not always easy, but you can do it. Truth is, some can't.

This past weekend I was dog sitting. The sweetest black lab/greyhound mix. His name is Thor and he is five years old. Funny thing about Thor is that his parents gave him his namesake as a pup, long before they knew this pup would grow up to be a dog downright terrified of thunderstorms.  Bad storms have rocked Wisconsin and Illinois the past couple of weeks, and this weekend was no exception. The irony is obvious, Thor, the god of thunder, is not the most appropriate name for this doe-eyed, gentle dog. Saturday night at 4:30 in the morning I woke up to Thor whining and whimpering to the sounds of the wind and rain beating through Chicago, and I wrapped up Thor in his Thundershirt, petted him slowly, and tried to soothe his doggie soul. Finally he lay next to me curled up, resigned to his fear, not overcoming it. He never will. But I could help him feel a little bit more OK, which is all I could do, even though I wish I could make him not scared. Thor will never not be afraid of storms. He will not live up to his name.

Sitting with people, and dogs, in their pain and fear and weakness, is sometimes all you can do. And what I have found out is that there are some that will never not be afraid of storms. But we can help them get through life all the same.

My heart is naturally in tune with those in pain, those that are suffering, whether they heaped it upon themselves or not. Maybe that will make me a good counselor. If not, I plan on going into the business of comforting nervous dogs. I hear it pays well.


Monica Featherstone said...

Very wise.

kathy b said...

Keep writing Emma , Your thoughts on pen to paper so to speak are clear and resilient

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