Dec 02 2011
When I was four years old, my sister and I were invited to my cousin Rachel’s birthday party. The day before the party, my mother took us to Toys “R” Us to pick out a gift. We chose the most beautiful tea set I had ever seen, and as soon as we got it home my mother wrapped it with great care. When the time came at the birthday party for my cousin to open our present, I stood up and started clapping and jumping up and down. One of the other parents at the party said, “Oh no, she doesn’t realize that the gift is for Rachel. She must think that she gets to keep it for herself.” My mother shook her head and said, “No, she understands. That’s just how Kimmie is. She dearly loves that tea set, and she’s just so happy for Rachel to have it.” I’m sure the other adults in the room were skeptical of my mom’s explanation, and fully expected me to have some sort of a meltdown when I didn’t get to go home with the beautiful tea set. However, my mother knew better. I was what she called tenderhearted. Even when I was very young, I was concerned about the feelings of others, and I wanted everyone to be happy and to have their hearts’ desires.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t led the life of Gandhi or Mother Teresa (not yet anyway). I have wandered in the desert of my discontent, born of selfishness and loss and desperation. I have been unkind and closed minded. I have been misguided and confused, and I have regrets. I know what it’s like to be hurt and lonely, and I understand the depth and breadth of the struggle it requires to become whole again. However, stumbling and fumbling I have found my way back to the path that I started on so long ago. I have grown and changed, and yet (thankfully) I have managed to keep intact the same little soul who always wished the best for everyone, including spiders and worms. Having been there myself, I have the utmost respect for those who are ready to make the changes necessary to transform their lives through counseling.
As a therapist, I get to personally witness the bravest acts of humanity. It is humbling to be given the honor of bearing witness to another human being’s triumphs and struggles, heartbreaks and joys. Helping my clients to rediscover the strength, courage, and wisdom that already exists within them, even in their darkest hours, is what I was meant to do. I am grateful every day for the opportunity to be there in that small space between suffering and healing, championing for the beginnings of change. In the Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Soul to Squeeze (1991)” it says “…when I find my peace of mind, I’m gonna give you some of my good time…” That lyric has always deeply resonated with me. Now, I am in a position to make good on that promise. I get up every morning with the intent of giving away my peace of mind, and, you know, I find it always comes back to me. As my mom used to say, “My cup runneth over.”