Sunday, May 16, 2010

When Not Being OK Became OK

It shifted. It changed. And I never noticed. But I am so thankful that it happened.

I was in a small group in Savannah when someone made the simple comment, "This was before counseling was socially acceptable..."


People think it's normal now.

It used to be a shameful or embarrassing thing.

Now. It's encouraged. And that's huge. That was such an important shift in social thinking. Somewhere along the line people went from being ashamed of their problems and refusing help, to embracing the healing environment of counseling.

I remember being a tweenager and having friends who attended counseling. There was this unspoken pity for those troubled few.

Yet in college, I sat in a conversation with friends joking and making light of their counseling experiences. One in particular, a weightlifter with a strong social reputation said, "Oh yeah. I cried. He makes everyone cry. He told me, 'The five year old that lives in your heart, what has he been saying to you all this time?' And I cried like a baby. I couldn't stop!" And we all laughed. And we all felt comfortable.

And this led me to deal with my own brokenness. I thought, 'If these people that I respect are seeking help, laughing and comparing their stories, and if they are healing, then maybe it's time im dealt with the wound in my own heart."

I made counseling sessions. I talked. I listened. He didn't ask me the 5 year old boy question, so I didn't cry. If he did, I know I would have. Or maybe an emotional father-son story. Those always get me.

But I healed. I moved on.

I want you to know that about me. I was broken. And those conversations played a big part in my healing.

I want you to know that it's ok to ask for help. Ask a pastor or mentor.

I want you to know that your brokenness is not unique. There are others like you. I am like you. You are not weird or pitied if you ask for help.

You are human. Broken by a broken world.

Jesus said,

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)

Your choice is to either live in brokenness, or to allow God to bring you to conversations that lead to healing.


Have you too noticed this shift in thinking? Has a counseling conversation helped you move past a hard time in your life? Or do you need to set that appointment up now?