@Chaplain Brinker

Mary, Thank you for your supportive response. It was everything you noted and more… When I seek out a counselor I know consider my sense of is this person a match more me. I don’t mean I want them to agree with everything I saw. But I have to have a sense ofbeing able to build trust with this person and for it to be a safe place to be self-revelaing.

I had dinner with a group of longtime friends who are clergy a few evening ago. In the conversation the subject of being our true authenic self came up. Each of the 10 clergy agreed that they felt they could not completely be their authentic self in a ministry setting because of the negative consequences which would follow and impact the ability to continue to do ministry. It was clear to me these clergy were not being duplicitous or disingenuous with people; but, thoughts, opinions, reactions, were largely highly filtered in ministry settings. This conversations causes me to reflect on how often our stories are filtered. I think we all do this to some extend consiously or unconsciously. We talked alot about how we need places to be authenticly our free, true self.

When we find such a person– a soul friend, spiritual director, counselor, or trusted companion– only to discover it was not a safe space only increases the painfulness of the experience.