As I am retraining to become a counsellor, often I am called upon to reflect on my personal experiences in the context of some theory or another. A more formal version of what I do on my blog I guess. Studying and working full-time isn’t easy and sometimes I wonder if I am doing the right thing, will it be worth it in the end? Are people really worth helping, is change really possible? Maybe some of us are beyond help? Well, I have to agree with Carl Rogers, the founder of the ‘person centered therapy’ model who firmly believed that people had all they needed within them to change, grow and to become the best person they could be, if only they had the right environment. His thing was all about providing those perfect conditions for ultimate growth in a therapeutic context. But can humans really change all that much?
Here is something I wrote earlier:
Of course humans can change. We change every day, with every breath, every word, every experience…every encounter, every challenge, every disappointment, every success, every word heard and spoken…humans are changing all the time.
But, on another level, we remain true to a self that seems was always there, whether that there is something lost or to be gained. It is a self that exists regardless of what happens to us, and through us.
The desire to change however does not always mean that change is easy or possible. The barometer I guess is happiness. A subjective gauge that determines whether we feel like we want something other than what we have, or want to be somewhere other than where we are. The funny thing about happiness is that sometimes you don’t realize you were happy until you are past that point. Nostalgia has a way of tinting past experiences so that you forget the bad and remember the good. You romanticize some past time when even though you didn’t quite appreciate it at the time, in comparison to how you feel now, you think, Wow I think I was happy then. Happiness can be fleeting though. It can come about through an unexpected experience that passes quickly and leaves you feeling lost and bereft after its parting even though you didn’t even think you were unhappy before it. I guess it’s about being content with your present. Memory however can be a bitch. As can desire. One pulls us into the past and one keeps us thinking about something other than what we have now.
Happiness is always fleeting, like that rainbow and pot of gold.
We know it isn’t really there, but deep down we are still hoping.