Did you know that the state of Maine, USA has 80 lighthouses? No one is more significant than the others.
Lighthouses are the perfect metaphor for how our field works. To me, the psychology industry is supposed to be a lighthouse for healing more than a stand alone monument. We diagnose people so that we can create a road map toward helping them to heal. If we are coaches, we are a guide to walk with them toward the place they already know they want to go, but can’t clearly see.
Interconnectedness is paramount to well-being for all.
The lighthouse is there as a way to shed light on the shores so sailors can safely find their way. It is not there to show off it’s light in all it’s tall, sturdy glory. And yet, some lighthouses have found themselves the envy of the coastal waters. They are the focal point of art, poetry, stories. They are a thing of beauty, often having fan clubs and societies of preservation who dote on their every need.
When the lighthouse stands long enough, it becomes a celebrity monument, reflecting its territory. Years, decades and even centuries of humans will covet the building itself as if it has some magical power. In truth, only the lighthouse keeper knows the truth of the function. The keeper of the lighthouse knows the inner workings. Not the lighthouse itself.
People pay precious pennies to be able to stand near enough to the lighthouse to feel its significance. Others want more. They want to go inside the beacon, so they can say that they were a part of the power of the protector. To those on shore, the lighthouse is their shining star.
The ship at sea has a different view of the lighthouse. It doesn’t care if it’s pretty. Form and function take precedence in the fog. They see the lighthouse as a functioning necessity when they are in the deep end of the ocean. They want to come safely to dry land, where they can place their feet on solid ground after a volatile life experience.
Lighthouses are the awareness of others in tandem with a connection of universal regard
Individually, they are not as strong a helper to the clients who don’t care how the lighthouse works, as long as it works.
It’s a collective conditional need for each other that matters most. The lighthouse and boat work together. The ocean, however, does not see or care about either of those things. It just exists without wavering from its purpose, no matter who covets it. People created the complex problem solving as a way to live their best lives. We often forget to see the big picture of how we all connect and more importantly, how we all help each other toward the greater good of helping people to live their best lives.
Together we work toward an appreciation of the beauty of connection. The keepers make sure the lighthouse stays strong. The boat makes sure the people stay afloat. The ocean challenges all of them, without even trying. The intertwining of each piece of this conditional regard for each other is how we all share the experience of living. One does not shine without the other.
If we are the light, the ship or the sea, we are not the only one ~ each has it’s purpose and each relies on the others.
In Peace and Light,
Author: Karen Henry has a masters in community psychology and an advanced graduate certificate in mental health counseling. She is the author of Indelible Women and the ReWrite series. She’s a private practitioner and researcher in the United States. Henry Healing dot com is her calling card.
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