People come to counseling for all sorts of reasons. Everyone brings with them different goals, expectations, hopes, and desired outcomes. For many people counseling is helpful and for some it is not. Some people might not even know why it was helpful, but feel that just talking to someone, going somewhere to spend an hour on their life changed something, did something, helped them. One aspect of the counseling relationship and life in general that brings clarity and health is the cultivation of “being”. We are human beings, not human be’s.
We are living organisms that go through many experiences that lead to happiness, love, excitement, sadness, confusion, despair, and emptiness. We are not just things to be fixed or problems to be solved. Yes, we want to solve problems and we have problems to solve but I believe that is a by-product of cultivating our sense of being. When we are more connected to our beingness the answers come more easily. When we get swept up too far into our emotions, we can get lost. When we get swept up too far into our heads, we can get confused. When we slow down and stop rushing around so that we can allow our being to come to the forefront, then answers can have space to speak. Many times it is our fears that keep us from settling all the way down into ourselves but if you allow the fear, allow the “experience” that is your self, the end result will be comfort, freedom, and often times clarity.
Counselling is helpful a lot of times because it gives us a sacred space to cultivate being. If our therapist is just focused on fixing us and giving us simple answers, we might feel good immediately because we were wanting answers, but many times that only lasts for a short period because we have not learned how to listen to our own being. We have not learned how to be present with our own fluctuating organism. When another human being is there to constantly remind us to look inward, to honor our selves, to listen to the deep core of our being, it is therapeutic. We exist in relationships and relationships are often places we have had to escape from, or shut down to, in order for our organism to cope/survive. So when a new, safe relationship comes along that encourages our organism, our whole self, to just be, it can be a place to finally grow.
Growth can only come when we settle into ourselves. Everything else is escape or temporary fixes. We will always have problems we will always find ourselves in patterns we don’t like. But will we be able to be present with our Selves? Will we be able cultivate being? We must find safe places to experience being when we have felt for so long that the world will hurt us. This is a very fundamental reason for counseling, or my preferred term, psychotherapy. According to Thomas Moore, in his book Care of the Soul, psychotherapy means, “care of the soul.” Thomas Moore recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post on why everyone should seek therapy (I’ve included the link below). Psychotherapy is there to create a sacred space in order to learn how to be one’s self. It is not a place to focus on answers, although that will be a focus at times. If counseling and psychotherapy are not for cultivating being, then you will leave with an inability to solve the next issue or problem in your life. We all deserve the space, the freedom, and the safety to be a fully functioning and healthy organism.
What do you need to do today to cultivate being? What do you need to remove from your life today that is keeping you from slowing down, centering, breathing slowly, heart beating, blood flowing – full organismic acceptance of being?
Thomas Moore article: