March President's Message

04 Mar 2017 5:14 PM | Carol A. Bouldin (Administrator)


The Weeds Will Wait


Today, as the rain comes down and I look out the window and see the many weeds popping up in my garden in the backyard I think briefly about going out and picking them, but well, it’s raining and frankly it’s not that important. Instead I settle for reading and playing boardgames with the family which is more fun than weeding any day. 

In our practices, we have clients that come into our offices in despair and sorrow and they are looking to feel better and relieve themselves of the pain that may have followed them for half a lifetime or more.  We have an important job to do: help our clients clear their weeds from their gardens of life. But as healers we must also watch out for our burnout and overwhelm. If we are not careful we set up ourselves to become exhausted. We don’t even realize it then take on “just one more client,” or stay that extra hour because that is the only time this couple can come in. Or yet, maybe we take on a client that isn’t in our specialty because the clients tell us that they have called six therapists and they are either full or don’t return phone calls. 

When we as therapists fall into this trap we are hurting both the client and ourselves. We must take care of ourselves first before we can hold that sacred space that each client requires. We must take our time to recharge our batteries, to take a walk, spend time with family, friends, or better yet, a vacation to have some personal down time. When was the last time you had a really great belly laugh where you laughed so hard your sides hurt?   We all need that type of recharging.

Recently, my uncle passed away he was 99 ½ years young.  He was a great adventurer. He was a WWII pilot, a manager, and a maker of wonderful wooden toys for children; the hardy, last a lifetime, fun kind of toys. He was a wonderful storyteller with a great big belly laugh. He once told me a story of my dad and him accidentally burning down the entire Laguna Beach pier when they were young boys; at that time the pier was completely made of wood. He also said that it wasn’t their fault but their home-made boat had a fuel leak that both brothers blame on each other for not checking. No one was hurt and the pier was rebuilt with their help.  However, when he tells the story they just laugh and laugh. I hope you are creating those types of stories in your life and career, hopefully minus the burning down of things.

So, book that vacation, set up that play date for your kids, slow down some, and enjoy what you have built. Share your stories with us, your children, and your friends. Laugh and laugh hard.  The weeds will wait.

Sherry Shockey-Pope, IE-CAMFT President

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