I am seeing a counselor.
And you know what? I like to think that if I had met her at a coffee shop, I would have started small talk about The Voice or our kids or you know, life. I think we would be actual friends. I also like to think that I would be friends with the whole wide world, but lo and behold, not everyone likes me. There is actually an 80/20 rule about friend-making, but I won’t go down that rabbit trail.
Too many opinions, too little time.
Instead of being her friend, my counselor sits with her notebook open and we begin to talk immediately. I only have a scheduled hour with her and I have always been one to get every ounce of life out of something. I tell her I like her hair, because I really do like her hair. We talk about the small things and she tells me that she’s been praying for me. And I think about how weird this all is because I am usually the one telling people I am praying for them.
I am usually the one to carry all the burdens. Not today.
She listens. This is the thing about counselors. They listen. And you want to know their other secret? Open-ended questions. The ones that hurt and make you break open and ooze out. Yeah, she asks all of those questions.
When I first met with her, I told her I just wanted soul-care. In fact, I told her a friend referred me because my friend knows my life and she knows that I am usually the listener. So there you have it — I blamed it on a friend. That hurts a little but it is the truth and the truth feels better than a lie.
What was once a thought of needing soul-care quickly became an understanding on both of our ends that this hot mess needed more than soul-care. Because all those open-ended questions literally made me a puddle, oozing out on the floor.
So I thought I would go there will all of you. I thought I would let you know what I am working on right now. I thought I would give you the assignment my counselor gave me. And that this one thing I am tackling is quite literally one of the harder fights of my life.
She told me to shelf the opinions of man.
Do you know what I wanted to say to her?
HOW THE HECK DO I SHELF THE OPINIONS OF ALL MY PEOPLE????
(And I am saying that nicely, because quite honestly, I still want to please the whole wide world).
I am to shelf the opinions of: my co-workers, my church friends, my Facebook acquaintances, my grocery store run-ins, my dreams, my hopes, my ambitions.
Are there shelves big enough for this?
But before I get in a tizzy (and I am in kind of a tizzy), let me explain why I am to shelf everything: because when those voices are louder than God’s than I am not living FREE.
And I am dying to live free. Not literally. Figuratively. But sometimes figuratively hurts pretty bad, too.
So, I don’t have any good answers for you. Not one. I am currently trying to find my shelf. But maybe we can all try to find shelves. I am going to need help nailing mine to a wall, any wall really. And that being said, I don’t even know where the nails are located. So, there’s that.
Maybe you can help me find some nails and together we can build a really big shelf and start tackling this enormous fight. You + Me + and the other 80% that are friends with us.
xo – whitney