make the appointment

I have a love-hate relationship with counseling and seeing a therapist.

It makes me nervous and anxious and excited and hopeful all at the same time.

Most of us in life just want someone to listen to our story and whisper, “you’re not crazy.” Life can be really hard. On one hand, your life is the first of its kind. The story you’re writing in the world has never been written before. And on the other hand, it’s been written a million times by people who’ve gone before you. We still need someone to fall in step next to us and say, “I’m with you.”

I came across this quote by Simon Sinek this morning and wanted to share: Bad leaders may edit the truth for fear of causing discomfort. Good leaders accept that the truth is often uncomfortable.

This is yet another reminder that reality, truth, honesty and vulnerability are inherently uncomfortable. YET, to get to a changed life, a freedom that’s hard to describe or a lightly lived life, we must enter into our lives as they really are. And be willing to share how we really feel.

The second we dismiss our experience as unworthy of deep exploration and reflection, we might as well check the box that says, “This is as good as it’s going to get. So why try?”

I personally cannot choose to live that way.

So when I run into an issue in my life that doesn’t feel healthy or hopeful, I reach out to my counselor. She listens, asks great questions and walks with me while I get to a better next step. Does it feel good to lift up rocks in the corners of my life and see what really lies beneath? Not usually. I have to own up to awful things I do and say. My bad habits aren’t fun to look at in the light of an honest conversation.

And yet..

Every single time, it first gets worse. I have actual behaviors and patterns I want to change and it’s really hard. There’s no getting around it. I don’t get to walk in my counselor’s office, sink into her comfy couch, open up my soul and walk out a changed being 55 minutes later. It’s kind of like gathering for worship on a Sunday morning. The work has just begun once we walk out the doors of the church building. Will we love the person we don’t like? Will I forgive that friend from long ago? If I want a strong marriage, will I actually put down my phone and gaze into my spouse’s eyes and listen to their thoughts and feelings?

It gets worse first. But then….it gets better.

One change leads to another one and another one. For me, resurrection has been rather addicting.

So if you’re someone who hates the idea of making an appointment to see a counselor, of walking into the office of a stranger, of facing the truth in your own story, know that it’s okay to feel nervous and terrified. You should be!

But also know there is a new way to live and love on the other side of that first visit. There’s hope for marriages in trouble. There’s new ways of communicating in a relationship. For our parenting of teenagers and little ones. There’s grace that grows if we’re ready to change the way we view ourselves, our bodies, our health.

It all can change.

Make the appointment.

It’s never a failure to get help. None of us were born knowing how to have a great marriage, or parent, or be a caregiver for a loved one. We need help in our journey to become the person God intends for us to be.

Your resurrection is waiting.

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