ACA Blog

Deb Del Vecchio-Scully
May 07, 2012

The courage to show up

My day draws to a close with a disappointing end as my last appointment is a no-show. I take a moment to reflect on the journey of those who come to me in search of relief of their pain. Pain comes in many forms but most often it is physical pain they ask for freedom from. Showing up is the first step to healing all the layers of hurt, disappointment, abuse and the many reasons one suffers from pain. Showing up is the courage to begin again, to take a step toward acceptance of the deeper meaning that our pain can reveal. It surprises me that more people choose to show up at all.

Showing up is the entry point to a next phase which may be filled with uncertainty, fears, concerns or worries. When a client chooses to show up it tells me something important about them. Perhaps it is they are more ready for healing than they have been previously, their pain is too great for them to bear any longer, and/or they are stronger than they may realize. They may have been encouraged by loved ones or their doctors to schedule the appointment, they may show up hesitantly, reluctantly and there is one certainty, they chose to show up.

It is our responsibility s Counselors to show up as well. Showing up to me means taking care of myself in a way that allows and fosters my unconditional presence and awakens my humanity. To do this consistently, I must get adequate sleep, exercise every morning before work – particularly when I don’t want to, breathe fully and deeply, eat well and laugh often. I start each morning with meditation and intention which creates the healing space that I feel makes it a bit easier for people to show up in.

Dan Millman, author of the Laws of Spirit describes this process of showing up in the chapter “The Law of Presence: living in the moment”. He writes that time is a paradox, stretching between the past and the futures that have no reality except in our own minds…Here is the deeper truth: We have only this moment.

And in that moment when a client shows up, I am recommitting to meet them with compassion and acceptance that we are all doing the best we can within the limits of what we know , our beliefs, culture, and life events.

Deb Del Vecchio-Scully is a counselor and writer who focuses on healing the mind, body and spirit. She specializes in PTSD, Chronic pain and mood disorders. For more information:

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