The magic of consciousness
What does it mean to be a conscious counselor, therapist or facilitator? And where is the line between offering support to someone going through a rough patch and wanting to change the world?
Most people who feel drawn to become psychologists or counselors have a desire to make the world a better place by lessening others' suffering. I remember a time during my awakening when I was particularly sensitive and could feel people's fears and suffering as if they were my own. It was an unbearable feeling; in that state, actively doing something to change my surroundings for the better felt empowering - so I started my psychology studies. Some might say that wanting to change the world for the better is a positive agenda, and even applaud me for my morally sound mission. However, what I came to discover (to the chagrin of my ego), was that there was a shadow aspect to my agenda, an unfulfilled need that I had not been aware of before. The need to control my surroundings and lessen the suffering in other people was really a subconscious tactic for me to feel safer.
So what's the problem with that? Well, as long as the inner motivation to help other people is subconsciously driven by my own need to "be saved", I can't be in true service; it's like using my job for my own healing process, but if I'm not aware of that, I will place expectations on the client that are driven by my needs instead of the client's own choices. Yet as a therapist, the only way to authentically support the client is to accept his or her pace and readiness for change. A therapist who is not aware of his or her own shadow aspects, could easily end up projecting their own expectations on the client.
For example, many people come to therapy because they are suffering, yet they are not ready to take responsibility and allow deep changes within themselves. Many people are looking for a quick fix to relieve symptoms, so that they can go back to being efficient and successful: It's easier to take a painkiller for your headache and continue with your day as planned than take half a day off to rest and just be present with your pain. So real transformation is rarely convenient. Yet, being in service without agenda requires accepting the client's choice without judgment - even when the client's choice is to hold onto suffering.
In the end, you can't force or push someone into freedom; all you can do is show the potential of freedom by embodying it within yourself.
It takes a lot to be in true service: It requires us to allow our own joy of beingness. Unless we ourselves have let go of suffering, all our work will be limited by the subconscious agenda to fix ourselves and others. Unless we have allowed freedom, acceptance and forgiveness within, all our service is (whether we intend it or not) tainted by our own fear of the shadow aspects of humans, by our desire to control that which is imbalanced and to change that which we have not yet forgiven within ourselves. This doesn't mean we have to be perfect or enlightened as facilitators, but we do need to be very aware and accepting of the imperfection of the human condition. The mind will resist real change, so when we encounter this resistance in clients, the most compassionate thing we can do is to not resist their resistance. Being in service without agenda could be defined as allowing and supporting change in a client, while accepting any outcome and not burdening the client with expectations.