Thursday, February 28, 2013
I wish I had more time to write....I learn so many things from the people I work with and am so grateful for that. What struck me this week, and I can say I think about this with some regularity, is that there is so much more than meets the eye~people are very layered and complex. Everyone has a story. I do the work that I do because I want to know what that story is. I want to understand the the composition of a person, how they became who they are. Occasionally I am confronted with the fact that I may have a preconceived notion of who someone is without awareness of that until they show me how wrong I am. These notions or assumptions of capability, history, intelligence, knowledge base, have significant influence over the subtleties of our interactions; they interfere with our ability to see what someone really brings to the table. If I want to know someone's story, I can't allow my narrative about them to interfere with their telling of it. The strata of each individual is exposed only with curiosity and safety; what blocks sharing often times is not in who sits across from me but rather what is in my own mind. Typically, I am inclined to idealize my clients. I authentically feel honored to work with them, touched by what they share with me, and curious about how things will unfold in their lives. I think it takes a lot of guts to walk into someone's office and tell them very personal and painful things. These are people I have a lot of regard for. While that is nice, it's still my own narrative that I have developed about them and will at some point in our work interfere. So, what was emphasized for me this week was the value of a clean canvas that is filled in with the color of someone else's perspective; I need to keep my hands off the paintbrush.