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The counseling program I am in at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology is definitely not for the faint of heart. It is a rigorous program – focused on the personal work we each need to do be in a place to offer ourselves in our future work. In other words, there is a lot of work to be done on my issues of being, how I relate to the world around me in ways that I am often completely unaware. It’s a time to become aware. One of the required courses is Practicum – practicing what it is to be in therapy, from both sides, the one sharing their story and the one responding to the story.

I am so grateful for all that I am learning through my practicum group
and through my time with my practicum facilitator.
I have such a propensity to live either in my head or in my gut
that I need the input for increasing my skills and practical application
of all that I am learning in lectures and the readings.

As a verbal processor,
it is sometimes difficult for me to sort through
all that is going on internally
to be able to respond to others in a succinct manner.
My facilitator pointed out that I can be too wordy
and therefore cause others to miss the full impact
of what I desire to share and give them;
hearing that from her has helped me.
It’s not that I haven’t heard similar comments from others,
but I haven’t heard it presented in a way
that coupled practical examples and demonstrated
how taking the time to listen to myself and my internal responses
then rewording and shortening and
speaking to my full feelings and reactions
can invite others to continue in dialogue, feel validated, and
create a safe space to reflect further and deeper.
This is truly what I long for in my interactions.
As I look back over the story of my life,
I am beginning to see this same pattern repeated – and maybe,
I’m beginning to see the root as it extends back through multiple generations.

I feel a deep desire to connect,
to be in community,
to work in unity with those around me for a greater common good.
The “bad” side of this is that I easily
become enmeshed through my commitment to unity,
stuffing the cautions I feel, and yes, even stuffing myself.
I was trained well through
the circumstances of my early life and the culture in which I was raised.
But I also longed for so much more,
without knowing what the more was.

Which is the “good” side,
the very nature of God Himself.
I get the unity with which Father, Son, and Spirit work,
but the separateness feels more vague, less certain.

I have a clearer picture today than I had a year ago,
but there is definitely more work to be done, more understanding to glean.