I live in a very diverse community. Multi-cultural, socio-economically diverse, young and old, but yet we all bleed red. While we are different in so many ways, I think we all deal with life’s problems in much the same or similar ways. We’re in this journey together, but we have different captains.
I have decided to seek insight from a trained professional, rather than go back to the same sources on how I should deal with life’s circumstances and really how I should be dealing with, addressing and changing to my own set of circumstances. I’ve decided to follow a different captain.
I think that we often seek the advice of family, friends, co-workers, even complete strangers, when we are faced with life choices. It’s only natural, right? I mean we seek our best friend’s input when it comes to dating, love, conflict, strife, happiness, etc. and yet when someone decides to follow or seek out someone new, and worse a professional in the field, there seems to be resentment, or the glare of an eye, or perception.
The mental health community it seems to me, has always had it rough, as if it was an embarrassment to seek advice and counsel for life’s questions, concerns, and issues. That an individual is actually looked down upon for even considering such a move. And that my friend is shameful.
Over the years I have sought insight on how and why I approach some of the challenges I have dealt with, and these professionals have helped me through some of my darkest times, deepest time of need, when I felt alone and embarrassed to discuss my issues with a friend, or family member, only to find relief, acceptance, and guidance in a timely manner.
When I look back on what my family or friends shared, there certainly was a mixed message. One that I probably wanted to hear, rather than the truth of the situation. I’m not saying that seeking that advice is wrong, or shouldn’t be sought, but what I am saying is don’t neglect the opportunity to seek out a 2nd opinion from someone who is trained in the field, whatever it is you have a question about.
I have been going through some amazing life changes, and some very personal in-depth look as to who I am, and why I do what I do, and to date, I’ve not had a friend, or family member ask of me the questions that I have had to reflect on. The why behind the action, the need that is being met, and is that need justified and necessary. Some really very difficult truths exposed and acknowledged, and then the change in the choices to be made.
I do seek input from family and friends, but in this new chapter of my journey, I have decided to seek counsel first, before the insiders in my life. It has offered me a sense of security in that I am singular in my approach to my new direction. Rather than having a variety of naysayers, or what not, to what i have decided to do. Is this the right course of action? Is this what I should be doing? I guess the only one that can answer that, is me.
I have been reading, ever so slowly, the book on Boundaries, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I still have so much more to read, but the first few pages read just like my life. I’ve been learning more and more about what I can control and nothing more.
So for now, I have a new captain. As I share with my closest friends, this fact, I know the ones that will be the most supportive. I also know the ones who will not be, and the ones who will look down their noses and wonder why. It’s a shame that we live in world where seeking this kind of insight and advice is frowned upon in general, when help is really just a phone call away and many are too afraid to dial the number, yet have no problem following the wrong captain.
I equate it to this. I don’t go to the fast food joint, to seek financial advice, I don’t ask the plumber what medical procedure I should do, and I don’t go to my banker and ask about insurance. I go to the ones that are experts in the field, are trained in what to do, and have practical experience for the issue at hand.
I am perfectly content on the path that I have chosen, recognizing that my faith will guide me and that my captain will steer me clear of the icebergs that I am dealing with. I am in a much more better place, than I have been before, excited about what the future will be.
Who will be your captain?