Rudolph Steiner, the Austrian philosopher, who founded the first Waldorf School in 1919,said once “If you take a photograph of a tree, you know that you cannot get it all from one angle.”
That just about sums up what I have learned over the last 25 years about spirituality in the context of the counseling relationship. To be more specific, what I’ve learned is to accept the gifts I was given.
A gift is something given to you for the benefit of others. My gift is twofold: to be able to see through people into their deepest heart; and to give people permission to feel into a deeper realm.
What matters most in the counseling session, is not the technique, but the therapist. It is not “what” she or he is, but “who” she is. What makes the difference is the integrity, the consciousness and the wholeness of the therapist.
Another thing I’ve learned is to keep open my wounded heart. When our hearts are open, we have the power to repair the world. Personal transformation has a global impact. We need to take this responsibility seriously if we want to save our planet.
The final lesson learned is that the spiritual dimension of counseling can offer hope, fellowship, compassion, and refuge.
Hope is a deep trust that we have not been abandoned.
Fellowship is the relief that reverberates throughout our entire body when we feel truly heard; when we no longer feel isolated.
Compassion is a choice…to align ourselves with love, not despair; to allow ourselves to be used for a higher purpose.
Refuge offers a place where we can dare to trust that we are no longer alone.
The Buddhists tell us that we need to “enlighten our minds”; to change the distorted ways we have of looking at ourselves, at others and at the world because this keeps us in a constant state of anxiety.
So, for me, counseling from a spiritual perspective, means creating a safe space where all this is possible. Where we can change how we think and transform who we are and help others to do the same. In so doing, we can restore our humanity.