This week brought me to my knees at times... mostly with gratitude though.
I have the opportunity to see people at the clinic who otherwise might not receive therapy. I am honored and humbled to be a brief part of their lives.
This week one of them asked "How can you do this job? How can you sit in a room and listen to people whine? How can you deal with all the depressing shit they bring? Why would you even want to?"
Another person asked how, as an introvert, did I deal with the constant contact of humans who are broken?
First of all, we are all broken and in various stages of healing. Secondly I am learning the balance between helping others and helping myself.
As for the first question, how do I do this job? I feel it was something I was called to do. I look back on my life and see how the journey of 56 years has prepared me for pretty much anything I hear from other people.
While I have not had their exact experience I have had my life experiences that have taught me lessons that brought me wisdom. While some of those lessons were soul shattering and heart breaking, they made me not only stronger but more understanding and compassionate.
I truly believe that we connect through pain, that our most vulnerable point is the thin place where we can touch each other's souls.
As for the gratitude...
The day I got this job, I cried all day out of gratitude. For many reasons I was hoping to be hired at the clinic. I love the world of medicine, it was close to home, the salary and benefits would finally offer me some security and I could let go of anxiety... but mostly I was going to be a therapist again.
When I look in someone's eyes and see a bit of relief and know that I was helpful, I am so grateful for the opportunity that God has put in my life. I am stunned at how often people turn and hug me. I am still amazed that they come back and work on their issues. I am amazed at their resilience, their hope, their courage, their trust...
They inspire me. They give me hope. They teach me. They touch my heart. They have honored me with a sacred trust to let me know them, really know them, at their best and worst. I am so grateful to be able to serve.
I remember a sermon from long ago about "the servant's heart" and I pray every day that I go out to have that heart, to be a channel for love and healing. It's not about me. It's about God working through me. It's about being allowed to be a conduit for healing.
I find I pray more. I pray to be open, to be humble, to help God bring healing to these broken people, these children of God. I am so incredibly blessed that each day, I look into the eyes of Christ, the suffering broken Christ. I am so grateful for this holy time, this holy job, this holy time.
I am so grateful to serve...