There is a lovely poem shared in the book “The Art of Therapeutic Communication. The Collected works of Kay F. Thompson” that expresses beautifully what therapy and teaching can mean.
It was initially shared among Milton Erickson’s students. I can’t think of a better tribute to what therapy can mean than this exquisite prose. The very heart of what Milton Erickson meant to his students and how he changed their lives through what he taught them and how he taught them. Through his presence in their lives on so many levels he evoked change in them. Forever.
This poem, by Roy Croft, (cited in Lofts, 1970) embraces excellence in hypnotherapy and most importantly the idea so strongly infused in Milton Erickson’s work and life philosophy that “We can be.”
I revisit this poem ever so often when I need to be reminded of the beauty and need of what we do as hypnotherapists and human beings. When I need to see through fresh eyes at times when I am feeling overwhelmed and befuddled by life stuff. It continually inspires me to what is possible. Possibilities. In all of us.
I love you, not only for what you are,
But for what I am when I am with you.
I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself,
But for what you are making of me.
I love you for the part of me you bring out.
I love you for putting your hand into my heaped up heart,
And passing over all the foolish, weak things you can’t help
dimly seeing there,
And for bringing out into the light all the beautiful belongings
that no one else had ever looked quite far enough to find.
I love you because you are helping me to make,
Of the lumber of my life, not a tavern, but a temple,
And of the words of my everyday,
Not a reproach, but a song.
I love you because you have done more than any creed could
have done to make me good,
And more than any fate could have done to make me happy.
You have done it,
Without a touch,
Without a sign.
You have done it by being yourself.
Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after all.
Teaching and learning and growing. It is not about dry bloodless pedagogy and fancy clever techniques, it is about the relationship between people. How we touch the mind and heart in making that connection in our work that is fundamental in healing. In hearing and deeply listening to another individual. With people, who are unique individuals. True for the therapeutic space and the blackboard space. With love and respect for the individuals involved. In service to well being and growth.
I remember coming across the description of working with each new client as an experience of traveling to a unique new land that always entailes learning a completely new language. Every time. Just last week I was struck by how much I enjoyed learning about people, and their lives, experiences.
Truly it was for me the joy of the immersion into another human being’s story. The immersion in the language of their mind-conscious and subconscious born of their experiences, personality and imagination. A thrilling adventure. This reminds me so much of Star Trek. Not just learning a set of skills but also learning to be more fully human. Discovering that I can be, we can be. What a precious gift to be able to be there and part of our client’s discovery that they can be.