There are many things in life that are difficult to understand, complicated to handle and at moments impossible to overcome, yet, with expanded insight, relevant timing, and the right guide, such obstacles become easier to navigate and possible to conquer.
I know; I have had the rare privilege of helping countless individuals take expeditions they never expected in order to arrive at destinations they only dreamed possible.
Shell Cracking Leaving the Past Behind
For over ten years, I worked in the financial industry. Daily I was surrounded by people who thought second of individuals and first of profit margins, bottom lines, and corporate policies. I found myself often saying, I know what the rules are, but isn’t there something we can do? Isn’t there some way to help this person or that family?
My inquiries were met with the same response: no exceptions can be made to policies. You break them, you lose.
Lose what? I thought. Humanity? One human caring for the soul of another, believing that if they promise to try, they will? Or giving an individual just one more chance? Yes, I was losing. I was trading away my inner humanity. I could feel my soul hardening in the spirit of friendly competition.
One afternoon I had the privilege of going to lunch with an amazing woman, Dr. Natalie Smith. During our time together, I asked her what enticed her to select a career in the field of psychology. She laughed and said, “not the money.” She then shared with me a piece of governing wisdom. “Christy, there are many difficult things in life people have to go through, but they should have to go through them alone.” Dr. Smith was right. I decided to make a career change. I did an about-face.
I traded in my executive office, mahogany desk, leather chair, and covered parking for a small, thread-worn clinical couch in an out-of-the-way therapeutic clinic, to become a counselor. In several months I went from being a vice president to beginning intern in occupation fields as different as night is from day.
At first, the adjustment was challenging. I understood what the phrase “fish out of water” meant. Not only was I out of the water, I was also even losing ground, fast. For the first few months, I walked around the clinic, asking myself, “what in the world were you thinking? Several months ago, you were making thousands of dollars, and now you are working for free!” I missed the boardroom executive meetings, fringe benefits, company parties, golf tournaments, and my own personal secretary. I walked around, feeling sorry for myself.
As an intern, the only boardroom I knew was my supervisor’s office, and as far as benefits go, well, let’s just say I was happy to have a pen and clipboard. I considered going back to the field I had known for so long - far too long - but something I would not quite define was calling me. I resolved to stay.
I stayed at first because of my inability to quit, and because the words of my Dr. Smith haunted me, “People should not have to go through hard things alone.” In the end, I stayed and still stay, because I have experienced the compelling process heroic individuals endure as they discover who they are, why they were born, and to whom they belong while allowing the atonement of Jesus Christ to finalize the healing process. Such experiences are rarely found in boardrooms but bloom forth abundantly in therapeutic offices.