Pilgrims, elections, and the individual.
As one of my favorite comedian used to say, hello, nation!
As a community of communities originally organized around the ideals of liberty, we live within a system that asks us to cast our vote to help shape our future. This is both a grand and a fearsome responsibility, at least for those who choose to accept it. Grand because we are active participants in creating our future, but fearsome when we feel our voice has not been heard or has been diminished and marginalized.
In our work here at Rock Springs, we often find ourselves helping individuals accept and participate in this same sense of responsibility, but one that is focused on voting in their own lives: taking time to analyze their thinking, examine their feelings, and weighing a growing sense of responsibility in themselves. For individuals, however, true change isn’t just a matter of casting a vote and walking away. It’s about cultivating an open-ended attunement to that inner voice, the voice that some writers have described as the soul, to hear the deepest longing for creating a meaningful life and a life full of possibilities and options.
Finding this attunement to our deepest and truest self can be challenging – other voices vie for attention, voices from our past, such as an overly restrictive mother or an abusive father. These voices can give rise to an individual filled with shame and guilt, full of a sense of “should-ness” – I should have done this, I should have done that.
Others find their path to an authentic sense of identity blocked by anxieties arising from the neglect of caregivers – a sense of feeling lost, unappreciated, and ungrounded. Even with good parenting and caregiving, life experiences and mental health can undermine a beneficial foundation, leading to an unsettling sense of distress that interferes with attunement.
So we find, as practitioners of hopefulness, that individual change is not just a matter of casting a vote to change our belief and behavior but instead requires a much more participatory engagement with the underlying mental reflexes. It is in finding a way of practicing the possibility of change within the therapeutic confines of what we call "The Session," a sacred space for consultation and nurturing support.
Indeed, that’s why the practitioners at Rock Springs spend half of their week visiting with clients and the other half working to create the necessary environment for therapeutic change. To create this space, we read, reflect, consult, and learn. We obtain continuing education and practice listening for wisdom. We prepare ourselves so that our sessions can be a blend of polling place, debate stage, assembly conference, and birthing room. We create a healing place where individuals can test new ideas, new ways of relating, and discuss what works and doesn’t work.We see this journey as a pilgrimage towards finding an attunement with the deepest, most authentic sense of self in relation to others.
In our history as a nation, we follow the season of elections with a season of thanksgiving, a time of reflection and gratitude for both what we have received and for what we have yet to receive. As we move forward through this season of election, celebration, gratitude, and for some, sadness, let’s reach out to our friends and our colleagues with a sense of respect for the pilgrimage each individual is making, a pilgrimage with the possibility of more soulfulness and more satisfaction, more meaning and more depth, and more compassion balanced by courage and curiosity.
If this sounds like a pilgrimage you’d like to make, we’re here to help. We promise we will create a welcoming space and healing respite for you. Then, we will walk alongside you, helping you find your voice, cast your vote, and follow your heart into your best future. This is our commitment to your pilgrimage. Will you take this journey? Will you walk with us?
Hello, nation. Welcome pilgrim.