My finest moments might surprize you …

Graphic via Google Images

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.  Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” Pema Chӧdrӧn

As a counselor/therapist this quotation resonates with me in a way that might baffle you.   I believe my finest moments in the counseling room, or in my life for that matter … are not when I have reached down to help someone weaker or less fortunate than myself.  My brightest moments have not been when I have wisely utilized the letters behind my name to cleverly intervene and gift someone with the answer that has been eluding them.  My proudest moments have not been when I have felt sorry for someone and charitably offered to rescue and protect them from their current plight.  My most stellar moments have not even been reflected by my aptitude for helping someone shine some light on the dark parts of their path.

Don’t get me wrong … these moments feel really rewarding … but … they are not the moments that most aptly reflect my long-standing desire to   serve the greater good and support people in living a great life – despite any challenges they may be facing.

My finest moments in the counseling room may surprise you … or … maybe even upset you.  I know deeply, clearly and undeniably that my most altruistic and compelling moments are when I can look into the depths (and darkness) of my own experience and find that space within me that can recognize and relate to the invisible pain and ache in the heart of ‘the other’.  That is, compassion emerges when I can find empathy for the bad one, the wrong one, the unlikeable one, the condemned one, the reprehensible one and the unforgivable one.

My finest moments come when I am able to feel compassion and kindness for the parent who has abused their child.  They come when I am able to find that space within me that remembers how raising children can bring out the worst in even the most well-intended parents. My finest moments emerge when I am willing to search for the goodness and broken spirit within the adulterer … not just the person (s)he betrayed.  Can I find that part of me that could possibly deceive the person I love the most?  My finest moments in the counselling room, and in my life, reveal themselves when I can sit in the energy of humility and humanity … when I recognize that ‘hurt people, hurt people’.  My finest moments are when I can look inside my own soul and find the part of me that might have responded as badly, wrongly, thoughtlessly and recklessly as those I am tempted to judge harshly.

While I have passionately dreamed of healing people’s souls … I have come to recognize that it is only in my willingness to acknowledge that I am equally capable of harming people’s souls that I can ever truly embrace the pain in another’s spirit.  This is not to make excuses or deny the need to make amends/retribution … these are also critical parts of healing.  It is simply to realize that it is in my willingness to embrace my own woundedness that I can honestly and genuinely relate to our shared humanity.  This is the most authentic seat of compassion from which I can humbly attempt to live and work. I’m not always successful … but … I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is from this sacred space that I have experienced my finest moments as a counsellor, wife, mother, daughter, friend and woman.

Embracing it all, Karen

 

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21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debora Bradley
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 12:17:56

    Wowser! This is a outstanding, authentic piece of writing—from your deepest heart & soul! I love it! You made my soul sparkle. There is an outstanding blogger in there; I am happy that dear Thomas offered his presentation on blogging to kick you out of your bird’s nest —so you could fly; you now have wings.! Love to you dear Karen and congratulations on this excellent piece. I am inspired! Debora xo

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  2. Eve Rosenberg Blaustein
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 13:42:04

    Wow Karen, felt compelled to read your blog and followed my intuition to do so. Very happy I did. It’s beautifully written and it speaks to such an important piece in understanding another and having compassion and forgiveness within our hearts, for each and every time we abuse another, we’re in tremendous pain ourselves and very often, feel unsupported and misunderstood. It’s only the biggest hearts that can open up to understanding why we do the things we do and to have the heart to want to help. Keep writing!

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    • miraclesinc
      Nov 13, 2012 @ 14:26:25

      Thank you for your thoughtful response Eve! It is so meaningful to hear what the posts brings to people’s consciousness. I deeply appreciate the richness your perspective brings to my post! Thank you so very much for taking the time to respond …

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  3. fif
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 21:31:02

    Really beautiful and powerful Karen. Truly. Keep writing! love, fran

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    • miraclesinc
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 07:02:29

      Thank you for your kind encouragement Fran … it is in these vulnerable moments where we put ourselves ‘out there’ that people’s constructive feedback is so deeply appreciated … thank you so much for the affirmation to keep writing … 🙂

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  4. catelabarrecoach
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 09:28:18

    A beautiful reminder of our responsibility when holding a sacred space for another.

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  5. Sonia hankin
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 09:38:22

    Hi Karen, beautiful writing just like the beautiful woman you are. I have not written in a while and you have inspired me to write again. Keep sharing!

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    • miraclesinc
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 13:08:10

      Hi Sonia! How wonderful to reconnect with you here! I thank you for taking the time to share your kind thoughts … how wonderful to have this virtual space reduce the miles between us! Big hugs to you …

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  6. Sharon Lanser
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 12:24:08

    Sometimes when my Heart is breaking and my soul is injured I reach out to anyone that will listen but It is the soul of my sister in law that brings me out of the darkness that envelopes us all in some point of our lives. Your words and your kindness is what attracts people to you and your knowledge of the dark places in all of our souls is what makes you the best provider of assistance to heal the hurt that is in many of us. The fact that you have risen above most to understand that the one giving the hurt is also the one that was hurt at some point by the loved ones in their own life is what makes you the spectacular therapist that you are. Your words are inspiring as always… More of humanity should learn from you and your actions. You are truly inspiring!

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    • miraclesinc
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 13:02:49

      I am both humbled and honored by your kind words and loving energy Sis … thank you for sharing your heart and life with me so honestly and authentically … I love you deeply …xo

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  7. Marie
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 12:31:30

    I didn’t want your post to end! I love the way you weave your words together so beautifully Karen…you truly are a gifted writer! Thanks, once again, for giving me much to think about!

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    • miraclesinc
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 13:05:47

      I feel so truly blessed for your friendship and support … I love it that we can stretch each other to new and wonderful places! Thank you for your generous encouragement my friend!

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  8. Kathy Zehringer
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 14:08:17

    Karen – Your blog is so beautifully and humbly written – it simply embodies the grace and compassion you bring to your clients and to our work… I am deeply touched and humbled to be a fellow Integrative Coach with you, Karen, and really excited to see your future blogs as you step more fully into all you’re meant to be in this work!

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    • miraclesinc
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 17:16:10

      Hi Kathy!
      It is truly such a gift to be a member of our coaching family. I am fueled and nourished by your kind and generous comments. Thank you so much for your sharing … 🙂

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  9. Maria Rempel Belcastro
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 09:34:05

    Wow! I marvel at your growth and your continued healing! It is with pure joy and with pure love to know someone who has the ability to heal and encourage healing and to be the very best that they can be. How fortunate and blessed our world is to have your loving and caring heart in it! This piece touched me so deeply and so richly! Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. Katie
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 10:35:04

    are you familiar with Fr. Greg Boyle of homeboy industries? i have been reading him and watching lots of youtube videos of his talks. he often echoes this sentiment and it has really moved me.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Karen Lanser
      Jan 06, 2015 @ 17:06:43

      Hi Katie …
      No, I have not heard of him …but thank you for the referral. I will definitely check him out! Thank youso much for stopping by … Karen 🙂

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    • Karen Lanser
      Feb 20, 2015 @ 13:38:22

      Katie … I’m currently reading his book Tattoos on the Heart! Wowsers! What an incredible man … and … such remarkable stories of unconditional love! Thank you again for your kind comments! ♡

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  11. Karen Lanser
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 17:05:05

    Thank YOU Maria Beautiful for being such a positive and loving presence here!!

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    Reply

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