We really do try. And in most cases, we are impacting the world for good, making disciples and lifting up those who are hurting and lost and lonely and feeling the need for something deeper.
My very personal challenge to us all is to remember that the greatest coaches have coaches. None of us is without a wounded, fallen nature and all of us are psychologically impaired by our personality weakness, family of origin, others wounds and the false formations we have been exposed to along the way.
Confession is the powerful sacrament of healing and forgiveness, the divine encounter with the Savior who redeems and offers the grace to grow forward. But let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that confession alone is a sufficient exercise to help rectify our poor thinking or to challenge us to work on habits of sin or twistedness.
Let us be not afraid to dive into the work of stretching and growing ourselves with the help of others who are ahead of us on the journey. We must sit at the feet of the masters in the reading we take in (even if it is just a sentence in the midst of busy mom life or a good podcast).
Be it in the realm of spirituality, prayer, psychology, parenting, marriage, finances, health, or fitness, we need constant ongoing formation. We must not be afraid to search out holy spiritual direction. And though it is often a field permeated with atheism and misguided ideas, we need to not be afraid to seek out faithful counselors in the world of psychology. It has taken me nearly two decades to be open to this last idea and I am finally experiencing the benefits of allowing a faithful professional walk with me through my mental and emotional space. Life doesn’t get less complex it gets heavier and more demanding. Our psychological soup thickens and we need help cutting through the thick.
So I encourage you to rise to the occasion with me, and establish a wise team of support in you reading, your direction and your counsel. Remember though, it takes time for these seeds to germinate. Be patient and consistent. These efforts are the work of a lifetime. We don’t get fixed once and for all and no longer need support. We need to be leaders that show the world how Christians are called to live. This begins with the humility of sitting prayerfully in silence with Our Lord himself and recalling that he bids us never stop seeking the truth. In order to effectively do this we need the objective perspective that others can offer us. Plus, it keeps us humble.
The same concepts apply to getting support in our health, business needs, organizational skills, or speaking. When possible, I encourage you to recognize the value of good coaching and accountability.
Let’s begin with a good confession if we haven’t been in a month or two. We get to clear the slates, unburden our hearts of our sins, shame and guilt. We get to fill up our grace buckets so we have renewed strength to amend our lives. Then we can begin anew to seek help in growing forward. It offers such a deep consolation to know that we are in motion upward. After all, if we are standing still in the spiritual and personal growth realm we know that we are really going backwards.
Let us, who so much long to be lights to the world, remember to keep our lamps full of good oil so that we won’t get lost in the dark ourselves. Then we can lift up the needy and be servants of evangelization, healing and tender compassion.
My dear friend and colleague, Allison Ricciardi, has compiled a list of Catholic counselors. Find it at CatholicTherapists.com.
Copyright 2019 Chantal Howard