By Lianne Johnson, LPC
Over the last two years my life has traveled through several seasons of grief caused by a crisis. Have you ever experienced grief? If you have, then you are keenly aware of how those around you try to place a time limit on your grief. Why do people place a time limit on how long another is to deal with grief?
Grief is not clean. It is dirty. It comes and it goes and then comes and goes again. Why is it so hard for us to let people be sad or tired or be in pain emotionally?
I have found that most of those who have struggled with my grief struggle because of how it impacts them, and to be fair, they also miss the “me” before my season of grief. The result of this is that they do not accept the “different” me – the me covered in grief. They want to “normal” me – the me they have known far longer than the me in grief.
Perfecting Ourselves to Death: The Pursuit of Excellence and the Perils of Perfectionism by Richard Winter
- driven perfectionism: works harder to close the gap
- defeated perfectionist: gives up the fight
- healthy perfectionist: able to live in the tension
|The Already and the Not Yet|
By: Lianne Johnson, LPC
I was out walking one day when I saw this tree. I was immediately struck by how the tree appeared to be both alive and flourishing, as well as dead. Half alive and half dead. Can you see it? The left side of the tree is green, while the right side is dark and displaying what I am calling deadness.
“Wow,” I thought to myself, “this is how I feel. Regularly.”
As you can see, the caption I wrote under the picture is – The Already and the Not Yet. For those of you who are Christians reading this, you may be familiar with this phrase. The Already: We are made alive by Christ’s death (His act to save us from ourselves), which gives us our aliveness, our life. The Not Yet: We live in a broken world where we see and experience suffering. We live in the “in between time” from Christ’s death on the cross and until his return when everything will be made right.
This tree is displaying our internal reality as well. We are alive in Christ, yet daily we live and struggle with the pain and toil of our day.
It was good for me to see this tree. It was good for my heart and mind to be reminded that Christ has made me ALIVE. It was good for me to remember that while the “dead” part (the pain and heartache of today) will remain a part of my daily reality until Christ returns, I am also ALIVE. It was good for me to remember that Christ has conquered death.
All too often it seems that a counseling center will exist as its own entity. Avenues Counseling desires to partner with churches and para-church organizations throughout the St. Louis area to help encourage and support them as they carry out their vision.
Check out our website for more information about this distinctive way Avenues is impacting the community.