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Who are we serving?

“I’m so much more of who I am and so much less of who I think I should be.” This is the news that greeted me when talking with a client recently. This kind of news lights me up as a therapist. It makes oh so clear how valuable our work is.

Do you know how valuable your work is?

I mean, when’s the last time you connected with how very important the work of helping others is. Think about it, someone walks into your office, hoping and sometimes praying, that they will leave your office an hour later feeling better.

We help our clients address mood disorders, relationships, boundaries, substance abuse, anger, anxiety and more, much more. We help them get past the obstacles between them and their goals. We help them align with their truest self. All of it is aimed at supporting them in living a better life.

Given that, I think it’s beneficial to pause and consider WHO we are helping.

Do you remember some moment in time when you just KNEW you were more than you seem, that life is more than it seems. Maybe it was sharing a smile with someone you love, sensing the quiet beauty of a slow moving river, surrendering to the depth of wonder in the night sky, catching a glimpse of a moon sliver hanging like a cat’s toenail at dusk.

If you’ve been lucky, you may have experienced this in the simple act of sitting, looking in the mirror or walking with a friend. It was likely just a moment, a moment when you KNEW you are more than you seem and life is more than it appears.

These moments become touchstone reminders that we are more than we think we are. Inevitably, they slip away, the aperture of wonder closes and we slip into a kind of veiled awareness. We slide behind the mask we’ve forgotten we are wearing and back into the false conditioned self, the point of view of the true self obscured.

These masks are sculpted of identities, parts of us that have specific goals based on our specific matrix of beliefs, goals, decisions, defeats, trauma and unmet needs. Most of us are so identified with these masked personas, the conditioned self, we don’t know our true self is identical to the transcendent self.

We are a mystery, so much more than the false, conditioned self.


Okay, so IF, the true self is not the sum of habits, experiences and conditioned narratives. IF, as countless philosophers, mystics and prophets have claimed, the true self is the transcendent self. How does that understanding impact your thinking about the value of your work, the value of how you show up for people?

What difference would it make to you if your therapist or coach held that awareness?

Post a comment. What do you think? Who are we really helping?