In Need of Counseling
Life’s not fair. How many times have we heard that phrase?
How many times have we said it? Often it is uttered in frustration when something doesn’t go our way.
I’ll admit it. I’m guilty of being frustrated by how unfair life is frequently. Usually I use the phrase in relationship to things not going my own way in my personal life. I don’t get something I want. Plans fall through. A sure thing doesn’t pan out.
But lately my heart has been broken repeatedly for other people that life isn’t fair for. I see so much injustice around me, and I’m outraged.
I struggle to understand why people who have nothing, seem to be headed nowhere, and fight just to hang on another day seem to get pushed further and further down while others who do nothing to earn it get lifted higher and higher.
I walk a narrow road. I actually don’t have sympathy for people who are abusers. Don’t take advantage of my charity. I want to give you hand up, but I also want you to put forth some effort in the process. I want to help you, not do it for you.
But those individuals, the ones who are at the end of their ropes, the ones with no where to go, no where to turn, no hope left, the ones the world has already counted out…I can’t help but see them and want to reach out them. I can’t turn my back on them and let them fall into the pit. If I can see them, they aren’t lost yet.
How many times have we watched as something slipped off a surface and lunged to grab it? Sometimes we manage to make the catch in mid-air. Sometimes the object crashes to the ground. Either way, we can say we tried.
I am sane enough to know that I can’t save everyone from everything. The question for me lies in the trying. Did I do everything in my power to attempt to help them?
Several years ago I had a teenager go off on me. They were extremely upset with the way I was handling an issue. I removed them from a group situation and spoke to them individually. It was a very long conversation. Filled with many highs and lows. More than once I offered to get other adults involved as I wasn’t certain the two of us could come to a solution that would be acceptable for all involved parties. Many tense minutes later, the situation was resolved.
I remained calm throughout the entire conversation. The teenager was far from calm. Although we were in a public setting, I was not aware of any part of our conversation being overheard.
Later, another adult, who happened to have a counseling degree, approached me. “A couple of us overheard your conversation with that teenager earlier. How in the world did you remain that calm? You handled that entire situation amazingly!”
A second adult, also very educated, joined the conversation and was outraged that I didn’t handle the situation in a more disciplinary way rather than the mediatory way I chose. They felt that I had been manipulated and taken advantage of.
While both of them had valid points throughout a lengthy conversation in styles of dealing with teenagers, I did what I felt needed to be done in that particular situation with that particular individual. Later, when that teenager found themselves in a bad situation and needed an adult to give them advice, who do you think they came to for help?
This week I’m really thinking about how unfair life is. I really want to fix things for some people, but I don’t have the power, I don’t have the ability, and most frustrating for me, I don’t have the right degree.
Thousands of dollars in student loans and I’m not qualified to counsel.
See, that’s where my frustration really lies lately (try the last six plus years). I want to work with kids who need me…really truly need me. Kids whose lives I can pour Truth into, kids I can teach life-lessons, kids I can show a different path, a different way of life, kids I can give hope to.
I haven’t found that opportunity, though. And even if I had, I have two obstacles standing in my way: student loans and lack of a counseling degree.
I kind of laugh at the lack of a counseling degree. I mean, does one really need a degree in counseling to help people? (For all you certified counselors reading, yes, I know…I know.)
So, I’m going out on a crazy limb here tonight. I’m tired, I’m uber-stressed, and I might regret asking tomorrow, but I can always delete this post later…
What kind of careers exist where I can freely speak my faith to help people, don’t have to have a counseling degree, don’t have to move to an urban area, and can still make enough money to pay my enormous student loan payments?
photo credit: MeganElizabethMorrishttp://www.flickr.com/photos/worldmegan/109910263/”>MeganElizabethMorris> via photopinhttp://photopin.com”>photopin> cchttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc>