Yesterday, while watching the news about protests happening in Libya, Tunisia, and Bahrain among others, I felt respect and admiration for people who put their lives at stake in their quest for freedom.
Then I realized that we who are in First World democratic countries share the same quest. But while these Arab nations demand freedom from dictatorships, ours is a quest to be free from all things that hinder us from evolving into who we want to become. These interior “dictators” may include past trauma, addictions, limiting habits, and unproductive relationships.
That is why counseling today plays a key role in the quest for freedom. It has evolved from a problem-solving technique to relationship that helps us find meaning and direction in life.
I like the new definition of counseling approved by the American Counseling Association in October last year.
“Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.”
Empowerment is the key word. This is what I do with my own counselees. I do not just help them solve specific problems; I guide them to discover the power within themselves so that they move towards the fullness of their life. As I always say: nothing makes me happier than to experience a person evolve into what that person would like to be and become.
So, yes, a revolution is happening in the Middle East, but another revolution is happening here. It is the revolution of the heart, and we are all called to participate.