I’m a Counselor
Posted Monday, November 14, 2005, 02:02 PM
Kids are a wondrous thing. Sometimes I find myself sitting across from a kid, talking about their personal issues, and I can see something magical in them. The Gnostics of antiquity would have called it, “the Divine Spark.” Every once in a while, I have a kid in my office who has that light in their eyes that speaks to the very essence of who I am, and reminds me why I am doing what I am doing.
It is in my daily interaction with my clients that I experience the most vivid cross section of humanity you could ever imagine. One day I will deal with a kid who has been placed in a foster home, and is afraid to get to know anyone because he believes that will keep him from ever being hurt again. Then I’ll see a kid who is plagued by guilt because a boy stood up for her on the play ground and was beaten by a bully for it. And in another day I’ll encounter a boy whose grandmother has passed away and life is so hard to live now that she is gone. These are the ones that show that very same spark, even in the most dire of circumstances.
There are children who have been through a lot of things, and there are children who have been sheltered from a lot of things as well. However, they all share the same commonality: they all are going through things for the first time. Even the children who have been physically or sexually abused have the same moments of wonders in their eyes when they see something for the first time. It could be a picture of a far away solar system, or it could be a piece of rock form a hike I took last week, or even something as small as the new shirt I’m wearing. In every case, there is always something new to experience or see. And for a brief instant, sometimes so short a time that you can miss it, that fire lights in their eyes. A fire that begs for a need to be met. “Tell me more.”
Life is a string of events. We as a society are bound to an ever changing, yet ever constant, need for narrative dialogue. When I see that spark in my clients eyes, I’m it with a sense of awe and responsibility. I’m unworthy to be the one this child turns to for help. Yet I’m the one they go to. I’m the one who has their answers; or am supposed to at any rate. I’m the one with the stories to show what other have done, things that might work if tried in their own lives.
So when I see the spark, and when I see the question begging me to tell the student more, I am hit with a sense of what I am, and what my job is. I’m here to help keep that spark alive. To encourage my clients and to support them. To let them cry in a safe place, to the let them laugh. TO listen to their stories and tell them some of mine. But most of all, I’m here to speak truth to them in a way that will keep their spark alive. I’m here to tell them the stories of those who have come before us, and what we can learn from them. If I fail to do that, I may just be the one who puts the water on the spark and extinguishes it for good.
I am a crisis councilor. My job is to give my kids hope, and to encourage them to not give up.