Wednesday, January 24, 2007

COUNSELORS ARE PEOPLE, TOO!

When people ask "how's work going?" usually I'm like {blahhhhhh} and my thoughts just sort of shrivel up and collapse on themselves. The truth is, I actually love my work. Today a kid told me, "I hate your counselor voice." The comment actually delighted me. I started laughing and said that I'm glad she trusts me enough to be that honest.

She told me her school counselor goes "ummm," a lot when she is trying to say something important and that counselors aren't supposed to go "ummm." She asked me if counselors have counselors? (I told her we are almost required to in school, so that we know how it feels to have someone digging around, analyzing your business.) She that that 'counselors having counselors' is funny. I told her I had a secret but she couldn't tell her mom. She said "ok." I said, "Counselors are people, too!"

So I pointed out to her (watch out- a counselor trick!) that she was doing a lot of focusing on the "umm" of her school counselor and the way my voice got slower and softer when I was saying something in "the counselor voice" and that maybe she was avoiding hearing what was being said. She shifted her eyes and giggled and said "Maybe!"

And we talked about her friend who has been hurting herself, and she had a disturbing insight, "I use a counselor voice with my friend!" (No! Say it ain't so!) We thought that maybe the "counselor" voice is just a "caring" voice. My counselor mind thought, "I bet she hates the voice because sometimes it is so hard to trust or recieve tenderness from others and we just want to run as fast as we can from it." But I didn't say that to her.

Here's the other funny thing about counselors: if counselors want, they can just make EVERYTHING about the other person's issue. You can ALWAYS turn things back on people. For instance, maybe my counselor voice IS annoying! :) But I never have to admit it. I will always be in session with people about their problems and I can just tell them they can't "receive" what I'm offering or some other malarky like that.

Who knows. I don't know how to turn off the counselor voice. But whether she knows it or not, I'm not being fake in there. I really mean the things I say. I guess one of the things I love about this work is just having delightful conversations with kids. Ok, one last funny story from this week. I just never think to tell these things to people away from work.

So a five year old boy and I are in session and we are talking about "safe" and "unsafe" touches and completing a coloring/workbook on the topic. The workbook shows a kid pulling a little girl's hair, and a kid pushing another kid and says "These are unsafe touches." The book asks you to name an unsafe touch for you.

The boy says "Pulling my hair." I write it in the blank, but I look at his closely cropped hair and point out it would be pretty hard to do. I ask him to think of another. He starts giggling and says "Pulling my {hmmm-hmmm-hmm}." I say what's your {hmmm-hmmm-hmm}?" He says "You know!" He keeps making silly, syllabic sounds and I just repeat them and tell him I don't know what they mean. He says "You know, PULLING MY PRIVACY!" I say "Oh! Pulling your private parts?! Yep, that's an unsafe touch!" So kids, please don't be pulling anyone's privacy. We learned in counseling that it's not nice.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Which Just Goes To Show, You Never Really Know

A long dinner quickly turned short, and instead beer and pizza commenced with different folks, entirely. Definitely a different evening than the one in mind. My only regret: I wouldn’t have missed “The Office,” my favorite TV show, if I would have known.

Oh, well. I taped it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

DO YOU BELIEVE IN SIGNS?





Sunday, January 07, 2007

IT's A GOOD THING, IT's NOT UP TO ME!

I am a little out of sorts and I feel like its spilling over onto everyone today. I dread the toes I might step on in conversations to come. It just seems like today my innate selfishness is rearing its head with a little roar.

Even as I try to tuck in my unruliness and hang my head in repentance I find others misunderstanding me (and sometimes understanding me, all too well) to negative effect. Its like the bits and pieces that are getting across are all the wrong ones. I just throw my hands up, what can I do?

My old way would be to do "damage control": essentially to try to control others’ view of me, hoping to improve my image in their eyes. I’m trying to live in the truth that I have no control of others, their opinions, their feelings. So in that place, I just confess my part and let it be.

The other thing is this: my old ways can be goal-oriented to the point of ruthlessness. In the eyes of common sense, this is perfectly legitimate and my "right." Out of "common sense" one might say I am entitled to exercise my rights to the maximum of my ability for my utmost personal advantage (as long as they don’t infringe upon the "rights" of another). And these rights are doled out in verbal contracts, and what is unspoken is fair game.

But I’m beginning to think this is NOT the most excellent way. In fact, I’m venturing to believe it is the opposite of love, namely, the pursuit of selfish gain. I will choose not to manipulate and calculate my own advancement. I will choose not to let fear determine my steps. (The fear is that if I don’t try to control things, my needs won’t be met.) I will choose to honestly speak to my fellow man and to trust that God will lead as I need led. (Minute by minute, Lord, please help me). And then I will trust.