counseling

Counseling & Coaching

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A friend of mine is in a band called No Fuss and Feathers, and I recently went to one of their concerts.  During their set, they played a song called How Much Time, and it hit me right in the heart. It is a story about a chance encounter on a bus between two people of different generations.  One of the individuals asks the other, “How much time do you have? How much time can you spare?”

There is a suggested meaning to these questions, and I thought long and hard about it.  I consider time as a measure of the investments I make in my life, including the people I hold close to me.  Since the day we were born, our clocks have been ticking and they’ll continue until the moment life ceases, whenever that may be.

Death: A Taboo Topic

When death comes knocking at the door, it has the ability to bring about loads of sadness, especially when it takes a loved one from us.  Many people feel uncomfortable when they speak or even think about death. For professionals, death is still a taboo topic. It forces us to address fears we might not want to.  However, when we face those fears and look a little deeper into the topic it not only helps us, but our clientele as well. Together, we can talk about one of life’s greatest questions.

Personally, I’ve lost people close to me, too.  My husband, both of my parents, and a beloved friend have all passed over the last 20 years.  With each passing, my grieving and overcoming have assisted me in coming face-to-face with the unavoidable occasion.  I am a very spiritual person, and I believe that in fact makes me hypersensitive to what my clients may need in their time of grieving.  I feel the presence of my lost loved ones in my heart and mind, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss their physical presence. I try to appreciate and feel each emotion that comes with the ebbs and flows of the relationships in my life.                                                                                                                                                 

I find that I ask myself and my clients these two key questions as they relate to life and death:

  • What would you do today if you knew it was your last day on Earth?
  • What if you had 20 years left on Earth, how would that affect the way you live each day?

Live Each Day to Its Fullest

Think about it.  How would YOU live your last day—your last 20 years?  Would you drown in the sorrow of knowing it’s coming to an end?  Or would it help you recognize that each day is priceless. You choose how you live your life each and every day.  Think of the legacy you want to live. How would you want people to remember you? What kind of memories do you want to look back on when time is ticking down?  It doesn’t have to be grand or glorious. Maybe you made people feel safe and happy. The best explanation about anxiety is that it is worry about the future and regret about the past. Both things we can’t do anything about. What I do know is that the more we focus on what we don’t want, the more likely it is to occur.

Something people facing mental health issues or physical disabilities can try is to remain open to positivity, rather than focusing on the riskiness of their situation.  I’ve seen resilient thrivers overcome their trials, making a mindful effort to completely engage, rather than seeing themselves as permanent victims.

Grieve Well and Let Love Lead the Way

Recently I was chatting with a friend about my numbed emotions.  Death isn’t something that scares me. I talk to clients about it almost every day.  I listen to them as they speak about their loss, and I work to help them find the path they need to take to travel through their journey with grief.  I feel as if it’s my job to be a guiding light through their journey. Sometimes I cry a little with them, and I can’t help to think about how much of it is empathy and how much of it is my own grief that I lacked expressing.  I may never know. However, each lesson is valuable and worth learning.

I choose to use the time I have been given to live fully and freely, letting love lead the way.

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