Sunday, August 14, 2011

the importance in being humbled

I truly lucked out when I stumbled upon the psychology coursework that grabbed my attention, many years ago. I loved studying the mind, the dynamics of people & how we communicate. I enjoy the one way relationship and unconditional positive regard that I practice in my profession. I have primarily worked with adults, with a sprinkling of experience with children and adolescents. I remember being 22 years old and marching into families homes to teach them parenting skills. Some were open and receptive, while others were quite guarded, rightfully so. Who was this young person? And why was she teaching me about raising a child. I often was asked if I had children myself. I suspect my credibility was shot when I answered, 'no, no children.' In my defense, many of these parents were unfit and needed some guidance that even a childless girl was qualified to give them. Unwarranted confidence got me through that stage of my career. I have worked with many adults...plenty of couples...even some elderly. I have come to the conclusion that I have mostly been accustomed to working with people older than me.

This is not the case these days. Since going into private practice, I have opened my mind adding little chicklets to my caseload. It has not only been delightful & heartwarming but also a big humble slap in the face somedays. But I believe staying humble is a crucial life skill that we should all be reminded of often.
I will humor you with a few of these recent reminders...
The other day, I was sitting quietly with an 8 year old boy while he was doing art therapy. He looked up and asked if he could draw me. I happily agreed, anxiously awaiting his depiction. While he was detailing each feature, he would pause to ask appropriate questions such as, 'what color are your eyes?' I gladly answered. When he arrived at the step of choosing a hair color for me, he took the initiative by saying, 'I decided on yellow for your hair...oh and black. Because there is some black up at the top.' I made a hair appointment when the session ended. I knew my roots were growing out...and apparently so did he.
SO honest of him. I loved it.
Another day, I was meeting with an 11 year old female. This tween is getting to the stage in therapy where she is very comfortable in the therapeutic relationship. I yearn for this stage, because therapy can be difficult with quiet children before we get to that point. One sign this is happening is when the child begins to ask me intrusive questions. It is always quite adorable, but takes some redirecting to get back on track. No adult would do such a thing, but children have an undying innocence and somehow get away with it. I do, at times, entertain their questions...as in this case. The tween asked if I was married and whether I have children. Which I answered yes and no, respectively. She then starting asking how much $$ I make...I began redirecting. Since I had entertained the marriage and child questions, she jumped back to those topics. She began to ever-so-sweetly say 'You really need to start thinking about having children....because you are getting to that older age.'
Whoa, whaaaat? gulp. It was a very humble moment for me. Kids are officially beginning to see me as old. But what about my hip, cool, edgy, funky side? Is it going unnoticed? Yep, I believe it is.
If we were only given positive feedback our entire lives...would we grow? Learn? Relect? I don't think we would. I love honesty, even if it evokes a little humility.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Liz-
You are so wise - way beyond your years! Keep spreading the sunshine and positivity. You are so inspiring.

jessica berghorn-williams said...

Liz,

I've really enjoyed reading your blogs. You are an excellent writer, and you make so many valid points effortlessly with your writing style. Keep up the good work!

Liz said...

Thank you Jess! That means so much to me. I have been in awe of other blogs, so to hear you are enjoying mine is an honor. thank you!

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