The very first thing, I deliberately start off with, is ring hard in the ears of my clients before we begin sessions (because I am currently in an environment where it is not yet a registered-regular-culture to go tell it all to a certain professional-stranger holding a pen and notepad), is simply this; ‘’we can’t accomplish much, until you open up to the whole process’’.
I recognize a lot of different elements tend to hold us back, especially when we sense that there’s going to be some level of unveiling or unraveling down the road (call it moment-of-truth or moment-of facing-the-demon) At this very point, It’s easier to step backward, because most of the time we can’t face that which we end up looking at through the mirror’s eyes.
May I remind us of the-old-time-classic-truth, quickly? Here it is, “no matter how hard the process is, once you confront it, accept it, and embrace the journey, there is no end to the many benefits that is embedded therein.”
I recall, when I performed my very first practice…, I did another just before I graduated, which officially named me a certified psychological consultant/therapist. I was in a group of three, both ladies were Ukrainians and we had to practice in Ukraine; which also meant my selected subjects were Ukrainians. It was an awkwardly painful start for me, particularly because ‘’our subjects’’ were to be addressed in Russian language all through.
The minute we were assigned to our station, my pump just couldn’t stop to skip, and my head reeling in so many counsels. But, my mind was fast enough to get hold of me. I said to self, there is a goal in sight, and an indisputable reward (perfect score) after this solid task is over. So young woman, you must attempt to find your way around this to be on top of the game.
With all things always working together for my good (trust me, it didn’t feel like it then), I was given an understanding supervisor, who instructed that I observe our subjects on behalf of my squad (which is the most significant phase of the task.) And still, bear away my own assignment (group work but personal report for individual grading). I choose not to bore you with my observational report☺
Flash forward to an excerpt from my concluding written statement, “I had a great time from commencement to eat up; it was a different sort of experience for me. I uncovered and discovered a great pile, and enjoyed each session.”
Did I really have a great time from commencement to eat up? If I exclude the first three days, it a fat Yes; but if included, a very fat No.
Today, I will share with you what I did not add. My small secret; that which my supervisor and team mates didn’t know. What they totally did not know…, ‘’the truth’’, I didn’t adjust until after three days (it was a quick-paced-think-on-your-toe-experimental project which gave no room for personal feelings to be nursed).
My adjusting-rope saw the light of a balanced-possibility, when I accepted the “HERE and NOW” reality against all the odds that stared at me. The vigorous hunt for lecturers, in the quest to complete my transferred courses (a major prerequisite for transfer-students.) Language proficiency barrier on a more larger scale, among other shockingly harsh realities. Oh, the pressure that came with being the first black to study psychology at my university, in over 8 decades of establishment, with over 500 pupils in my section alone; because there was no English medium for works, was overwhelmingly real.
With acceptance, you’d think all simply aligned, because I was already used to the life of constant adjustments… Well, it didn’t. I have learnt in life, that aliveness is in stages, and no stage is the same. This was a new fresh assignment, which literally took me from being a scholar who had found some kind of mechanism to cope in a community within the university walls, to a practicing consultant, facing real life situations that were not personal to her; but professional. It didn’t align because my mind was still shut to this new development, and not until I took heed to my mind’s.
I experienced no personal enjoyment, connection, efficient mental functioning, until I said to me, regardless of the real perceived odds (majorly language proficiency amongst other factors), you are here now, open your mind, keep it open and bring this home.
I noted before, that these nationals were to be addressed in Russian language? The shocker for me was when the time came for me to present myself, it was English language all the way. And, not one person checked me. Yes, not even a single one. My Subjects asked that I continued with the use of The English language they all understood what I articulated and all I did. Based on observation, they were also looking forward to experiencing something new, their reaction and response gave them away. (Like I craved all through my days in school@ attending just one lecture/ gathering where English was used to communicate all day?), that just never happened.
As I compiled my POD (professional open diary) standard report; methodological and technical accuracy, challenging as it were, was worth every minute, simply because I resolved to open up and accept the process.
It’s true what Susan Krauss, W. Ph.D., Wrote in her book Fulfillment at Any Age.
‘’Psychological change is possible at any point in life, but only if you are open to change. It’s very easy to get set into a certain way of thinking or behaving, because the familiar is comfortable and easy. We also get very pressured by time to want to stick with what we know will work. However, many situations in life require that we change, even if we don’t want to. You’ll be better prepared to make those adaptations if you’ve veered out of the straight and narrow from time to time.’’
My hope is to communicate just one simple message; if you want to conquer new grounds in all facets of life, it yields a whole awful lot to allow yourself “open up’’… but, with discretion (smiles), because there’s always the negative side and positive side even in the high spirit of openness.
Be flexible and receptive to change. Shy away from excuses. Bravely accept what’s before you, and openly face life savoring all that comes with the journey. One day at a time, People! *wink