Recently I started working part-time with The Journey Christian Counseling Center (www.journeychristiancounseling.com) and tonight I was impressed again with the courage of those are curiously seeking insight into who they are and why life is unfolding the way it is.
I look forward each week to the time I spend with my clients, and I am often reminding them that the changes they long for will likely not unfold in our weekly time together. I do believe they will grow into the changes as they live honestly and risk in new ways. For some, the risk might be in how they love or let themselves be loved, risk being quiet or perhaps speaking up, risk spending time alone or maybe with other people and almost always risking to consider and embrace new things about God and His love for His children.
I remember that my change process included awareness, courage, repentance, honesty, silence, embrace, celebration, sorrow, tears, reconciliation, forgiveness and so much more. I am grateful for where God has led me to in my own story and how I am now able to journey with others.
I am grateful tonight for the honesty of my 9-year-old client. He is refreshing in how he is able to identify his feelings and put words to his thoughts. We start each week with him coloring his heart with the colors that match feelings. For two weeks he had zero anger, and today I inquired about that.
“I am curious if you ever have any anger in your heart?”
Without missing a beat, he replied, “oh Trish, anger doesn’t live in my heart. Anger is all in my head. If I let anger get to my heart, it turns to sadness and makes me cry.”
I smiled and nodded. You are so right young man. And that led us into a beautiful conversation of his sadness and tears, and I am so grateful for his tender young heart and a mother who is willing to invest in his emotional health as he sorts out some complicated dynamics in his world.
Tonight I found this on a college social work page about Anger Iceberg: Anger is often called a secondary emotion because we tend to resort to anger to protect ourselves from or cover up other vulnerable feelings. I was pretty proud of the brave 9-year-old who said that same thing to me today because he understands what is unfolding in his young heart.
As I wrap up today
I am thankful for The Journey Counseling Center and the invitation for me to be a part of it.
I am thankful for the people I am able to sit with each week and remind them of their strength to move into difficult or complicated spaces in their story.
I am thankful for the dear souls who have journeyed with me into the confusing and complicated spaces in my story.
I am thankful that God’s amazing design of His people is to feel a wide array of emotion, inviting each of us to live honestly about all that fills our hearts. I hope you will live out the courage of my 9-year-old friend and be honest about when your anger is protecting you from more vulnerable emotions. Be brave and name those, even if it makes you cry. Cause we agreed today in the session that it really is ok if you cry too, cause God just made us that way!
Preach it, child. You are right on. God did give us tears, and there is nothing shameful about letting them flow.