Originally Posted: 08/25/2020
If you’ve read the orange part before, skip on to the blue.
I had this idea in my head. Maybe put three pictures up in my office, each representing something important about what I do. Counseling reminder. A touchstone for the eye of sorts. Well, like I said, it was in my head and as I realized one of the three pictures I wasn’t going to be able to get, and the others were certainly copyrighted, the three sort of evolved as I looked for alternatives. So in looking for a different way to go, in my head, we went from three reminders to 96 reminders. It’s why my wife refers to what comes out of my noggin as ‘cumbersome’ on occasion.
So. I am mostly a counselor but I have also studied and practiced a bunch of other things including cuisine and photography. I always wanted to have an idea why some folks in every field are wildly successful compared to many of their contemporaries, so I always checked a bunch of them out. So, here come 96 people and quotes attributed to them, if there are any – 24 chefs, 24 photographers, 20 people associated with psychology directly, and then 28 none of the above people whose lives or words remind me what to strive towards as a counselor, a counseling business owner, and a general human being. The only problem was stopping. There have been a lot of people who for one reason or another inspire me, lots more names on the potential list but it had to at least pause somewhere, so here we are.
I don’t rightly know if writing these out and posting them will be of any use to anyone else but I’m reasonably sure codifying the whole thing will drive it home for me and hopefully offer some encouragement and centering for our folks. Hope you get something out of one or two of them too.
You might never hear the name Elisabeth Kubler Ross apart from the 5 stages she proposed people experience when they are actively dying. Certainly, those ideas have been helpful in having conversations with people in scary and difficult circumstances, but those aren’t the only words she put out into the world. The words that have stuck with me are probably directly related to all of her thinking about death but are focused much more on life. Some of which are…
“It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we’re alive – to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are.”
“People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
“As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things. To do service, you don’t have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn’t matter as much as how you do what you do.”
What I take away from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross is focusing people fearful of the inevitable towards facing the inevitable with as little regret as possible. And that much of that lack of regret has so little to do with your job, your bank account, your degrees, the number of followers you have on the insta (or whatever other platform of nonsense you scroll through on you phone), etc. People can learn to make valuable and important decisions in the face of all of the inevitabilities of life and still be self-directive, still become who they want to be, to shine from within in a world that can be oppressively dark.
Learn more about EKR here…