I bumped into a post by The Fluent Self, a wonderful post that got me thinking about my own crazy stuckness. I am in a place where the world is pushing me to change my path to making money. As much as I grit my teeth about what I can do, and dig my heals in about shifting, I can see I am hitting a bump in the road that simply wont tolerate my stuck. The article observes how we identify… and the ways we deny ourselves a piece of identity… in Havi’s (article here) brilliant way of making that self discovery a playful, judgement free sort of thing. I had to share it with my creative soul care groups… Because that is just what I spend 8 weeks, 5 times a year, doing: helping others identify those pesky internal gremlins and lay claim to the wonderful pieces of themselves that are so often denied… And yet…
I struggle to say I am a counselor. I do it every day in my classroom as a teacher, in my creative soulcare groups as a facilitator to self awareness, as a volunteer for long personal empowerment workshops. I am not officially “earning licensure hours,” somehow fearful. The truth is, regardless of the masters I worked so hard to earn, despite the encouragement of professors who have confidence I me, regardless of the students who ask if I can counsel them (and I sadly turn them away but offer a sympathetic ear), in spite of the feedback I get about helping others move towards a sense of awareness and self appreciation… I get scared to use the label because I’ve held my “registered marriage and family therapist intern” license for 4 years, without logging hours or seeking supervision… Believing “I don’t have the money,” “I will be eaten alive,” “I will possibly have a negative impact.”
When someone says, “oh, YOU are a counselor.” I hiccup, spin twice in my head and look behind me… “you talking to me?”
I’ve unraveled my artist, my photographer (who doesn’t know half of what she is doing with her camera… but knows what she sees), my technology geek, and I am certain I am a teacher… But this one I haven’t figured out. What keeps me from doing something different… From living bigger in my own skin… I guess the answer is simple: FEAR.
Fear holds me hostage to a series of beliefs about what that will look like.
- I will have to struggle financially with the high costs of supervision
- I have to work with an institution with a salary that puts me back to my original teaching wages, unsurvivable
- What if I have a negative impact on the world, what if someone leaves more confused than they started, what if I think I know what I am doing and I don’t REALLY know?
- What if I am so busy I can’t breathe again?
I just want to teach. I just want to facilitate and nurture and be part of the growth process with the world. I don’t want to be stuck at a desk writing cliff notes about the lives of a dozen and a half people I see each week. I don’t want people telling me how my desk should look, or what hours I have to work, or the population of individuals I should work with, and how they should be diagnosed, and what reports need to follow so funding is distributed. I just want to do what I do best. Simple.
But I don’t even try. I live doing something I love in quiet un-acknowledged kinds of ways that don’t help me financially (and oh, how I need that), and the world encourages me to do more in bigger ways and I curl up and stay small. I don’t get myself sometimes, and I don’t know where to start, or what to do different to change this, so as the finances dwindle, I feel more and more panicked about what happens next. Who am I? Looking at my resume there is a lot there that I am, why does this feel so uncertain?