One of the most gratifying aspects of serving as a counselor is the breakthrough moment clients experience in finding the source of dissonance within their lives. Whether it’s the honest acknowledgement of a feeling towards another or the awareness of their own behavior, the breakthrough moment is an earth-shaking moment which is felt by both of us.
How does the process unfold to arrive at a particular apex in time? Like a drowning person who is frantically swimming to the water’s surface, a counseling client is sifting through a tidal wave of emotions and thoughts which is submerging her authenticity. A word at a time, a client wrings out the excesses of her relationships to get to the simplicity of one relationship—the relationship with herself.
When the breakthrough occurs, it’s like the near drowning swimmer who has reached through the water’s surface. He is freed to let out the carbon dioxide suffocating him and inhale the oxygen of a life that has been missing. It’s a release of a defense from the intimacy with the universe followed by a burst of energy which gives back a life for one’s self.
What breakthrough moment are you waiting for?
I want to detest Donald Trump for the crass ways he communicates his points of view. Then, I read an interview about why he’s a teetotaler, something I am, too. His brother died from alcoholism. My family of origin has suffered from the ravages of addiction. At our core, Mr. Trump and I suffer from similar pain over the ultimate powerlessness we have over others’ choices and illnesses and the consequences of them.
Addiction is a family disease with a genetic link. Mr. Trump’s brother died from the consequences of untreated alcoholism. Addiction possibly manifests for Mr. Trump in his sexual appetite. Mine manifests in my appetite, which I treat and manage on a daily basis. He and I are both workaholics. I use work as a socially appropriate escape mechanism to avoid discussing how addiction has affected me. I don’t talk about the elephant in the room because I’m rarely in the living room. Out of sight, out of mind.
Mr. Trump says what’s on his mind and he has a crew who cleans up the psychological wreckage when he doesn’t speak the truth with kindness. In a moment of unrestraint, I spouted off on Facebook about the election. I have no crew to clean up my messes. I have to clean up my own. The American people overlooked Mr. Trump’s verbosity for which he doesn’t apologize. I will take a cue from him and not apologize, either. And my Facebook friends can either overlook it or protest.
Speaking the truth with kindness or harshness doesn’t change the essential nature of truth. The after effect, though, is people may steer away from cruel messengers or retaliate. It takes a strong person to receive harsh or kind criticism and to accept the kernels of truth in it.
Mr. Trump and a majority of the American people want us to uphold the rule of law, based on the Constitution. A judgement has to be made as to whether a law was broken. A judgement has to be made as to whether a particular law should even exist and how it impedes upholding the Constitution.
I sped in a school zone a few weeks ago and was pulled over by the officer who fulfilled the duty he agreed to uphold. I accepted my ticket and as is the nature of American people was offered choices as to how I could make my amends for the harm I had committed towards society. I chose the deferred judgement in return for a hefty fine and an opportunity to prove myself a responsible driver.
In the same vein, I am deferring judgement on President-elect Trump and allowing him the opportunity to prove himself a responsible leader. There’s no them and only US in USA.