Friday, November 17, 2017

GETTING COUNSELING & PERSPECTIVE

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(I felt like this was such a calming scene.)

Today I sat down with a counselor by myself for the first time in 16 years.  The last time I went to counseling was just in the wake of September 11th which had come months after my father's pancreatic cancer diagnosis.  My mind and soul were in crisis, and the counseling was really helpful to get me back on track.

This time around, I can honestly say that I am not in complete crisis, which I am incredibly grateful for.  John and I like and love each other.  So many things are going right in our lives, and I never get over feeling thankful for the gifts the Lord has placed in front of us.

That said, it has dawned on us recently that we are deep into our lives (for our age), and we have gone at pretty much everything very intensely.  My counselor confirmed this, so I know I am not being totally dramatic.  😜  We've had a business for 10 years.  We were gifted 4 children within 4 years, and then got a second business.  We introduced the added layers of adoption and being a transracial family and all that it entails.

Basically, our lives are full of wonderful, challenging, encouraging, heartbreaking, good and hard things.  It's all mixed up together, and sometimes, it is a lot to take in.  In recent months, John has begun meeting with an executive coach who is also a licensed therapist, and it has been a real answer to prayer.  We need perspective and help.  When I saw all the help he was getting, I decided that I could also use the help and got myself an appointment with a local counselor.

There have been times this year when it has felt as if we were drowning.  Drowning in stress.  Drowning in work.  Drowning in the ways that we make things hard.  Drowning in the things that are actually hard.  Again, it should be noted that neither John nor Carol does anything halfway, which has major pros and cons.

So today, I sat on the comfy red couch in the calm office and poured out our stories.  There was comfort just in telling it all to someone new.  We have the dearest and best friends and family who have walked so many of these stories with us, but it is really helpful to have someone that exists completely outside of our sphere to look at it all afresh with me.  It's like we are the frogs in the boiling pot, and we've boiled most of the people around us too.  I needed a frog who could get dropped into the pot and jump out right away.  So I found my new frog.  To help me process.  To ask questions and make observant comments.  To be encouraging.  At the end of our session, she prayed with me as tears rolled down my cheeks.

I want to stay in the game, and we've fully realized this year that the stress level that we've had for the last many years is not sustainable.  As we made the effort to slow down and rest, it has become that much more apparent that many things lie underneath the surface that need to be addressed.  There are habits and misperceptions about life and the ways that we enter situations.  And also recognizing that there may not be massive changes to make on the outside of our life, but we have to make some changes on the inside to be able to continue in a healthy way.

So here's my plug for counseling and getting perspective and help.  If you feel in any way like you could benefit from it - take the plunge!  I'm so looking forward to more sessions on the red couch with my new frog.

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