Tea Bag Promise: Grace Brings Contentment
I was flying back from my monthly Counselor Training Program with Dr. John Townsend and Scott Makin. In typical, slightly high-maintenance-though-I-like-to-think-of-it-as-self-care fashion, I brought my own Yogi Chai Rooibos tea bag. My tea tag said “Grace brings contentment”. I contemplated that thought. During my process group earlier that day, I worked on pieces of me that I prefer to hide. Pieces like insecurity, criticism, perfectionism, and resentment. I don’t like admitting those parts exist. I prefer the place where I’m aware of my flaws and broken bits but I don’t have to look at those parts, just know they are there. There are times when that stance is appropriate. My process group is not one of those places. A Cloud and Townsend process group is where deep integrative work occurs. Every member of the group is expected to peel back the layers and observe, admit, confront, accept, and integrate the icky or hurt parts within. My group is chock full of accomplished therapists and group leaders. The caliber of these individuals is enough to bring up my insecurities and call into question the sanity of my decision to attend this training. “I’m not good enough!” This would be paralyzing except the safety of the container is iron clad. Everyone, no matter the degree, training, or accomplishments is shedding their layers and exposing all their broken and wounded parts. We share a common bond, “You know the most protected parts of me, parts I may not have been aware existed prior to this training, and you accept me…all of me.” Outside of some pretty good, though temporary, dangerous and illegal drugs, I don’t know of a state of mind that brings more completeness and strength. At first, after exposing myself to the group, I felt naked and embarrassed. Once that passed, a calming completeness settled in where shame once lived. Now I feel the contentment that comes with grace, just like my tea bag promised.