“to struggle to surmount (a difficulty or danger); to struggle for”

Each of us has a Story worth knowing.

Our life stories are full of triumphs and tragedies, and everything in between. Our stories are meant for great care. We are meant to have compassionate witnesses at every moment of our joy, heartache, or shame. The presence of another contending on our behalf changes us. Our own presence kindly contending for our own heart changes us. Kindness changes us.

The beauty of our bodies is that we can apply kindness retroactively, and be healed.

Suffering stays with us if we are not tended to well at the time of our pain. Traumatic suffering creates fragmentation in us: we feel disconnected from others and even ourselves. Neuroscience tells us that trauma quite literally changes our brains; part of us shuts down to survive. Unless we receive the help we need, we can get stuck in those defences that later, ending up hurting us more than helping us.

When we tell our stories with presence, honour, and kindness, we have the opportunity to healthily integrate memories from even years ago. Our bodies make sense of what was incomprehensible, and our brains mend themselves. We can reconnect—and come back to life.

We are meant to live at peace, fully alive.

This is care. This is the path I walk with you as your counsellor. I kindly contend for each and every story you bring, and I invite you to do the same.

“The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?