Here Are 20 Excuses!
Find a couple you like!
Understandable Objections With Counseling:
- You’ve never been to counseling before.
- You’ve been to therapy, but it wasn’t as helpful as you needed it to be.
- You went to counseling and they helped you understand the why behind your wounds and struggles and habits, but left you with the impression that real healing/change wasn’t possible.
- You went to counseling and was given coping mechanisms and life hacks but was left feeling that real healing or freedom was an unreasonable expectation.
- A therapist(s) suggested ways to minimize the pain or impact of your past, but never helped you escape or heal or recover from the source.
- You’ve never told anyone some things you’re sure a counselor will ask you tell them.
- You’re certain it’ll be awkward the first time you come (it most certainly will be) and you don‘t do awkward.
- You worry we’ll ask a myriad of questions to which you do not have the answers, and if you knew the answers you’ never have darkened the door of a counseling practice in the first place!
- You have a plethora of excuses for not getting counseling or coaching like:
- “My home life was really good, I shouldn’t need counseling.”
- “I had it good compared to some people I know/knew.”
- “It was only bad somethings, but the rest/most on the time things were OK.”
- “It is what it is, I can’t do anything about what happened so I might as well just let it be.”
- (Add your excuses here!)
- Facing the truth makes you sick to your stomach!
Understandable Objections From Your Family
- There was (is) an unspoken (or spoken) rule in your family that you don’t speak to anyone outside the family about what happened behind the closed doors of your home.
- It was (is) implied (or announced) that talking to someone who is not a part of your immediate family was (is) tantamount to betraying your family.
- There was a subtle understanding in your home that seeking counseling was a sign of weakness.
- You believe the big, fat, harry lie—made famous by Gibbs on NCIS (Rule #6)—that saying you’re sorry (which implies asking for forgiveness) is a sign of weakness!
Understandable Objections From Past Efforts
- You believe that what’s in the past should be left there, you’ve expended a good bit of effort over the years trying to keep it buried, and aren’t about to turn around and dig it up!
- You’ve tried to change over and over and have since given up because you can’t face another defeat and the depressing let down of another failed attempt.
- You’ve broken countless New Year’s resolution and well-meaning promises and don’t want to be reminded.
Understandable Objections From Your Story
- You were attacked, abused, abandoned, forgotten, misused, taken advantage of, oppressed, traumatized, and otherwise wounded and don’t understand or like the fact that innocent victimization unjustly left you with all this s**t to deal with.
- You have the cart before the horse since you refuse to admit that you were victimized—refuse to see yourself that way, don’t want/need anyone’s sympathy, advice, probing questions, annoying diagnosis, unhelpful labels, and stereotyping—and chose to focus on overcoming without ever defeating the past.
- You are seriously concerned that facing your past will be too overwhelming abnd you are afraid you will not be able to cope with everything.
If you found one or a few you relate with, keep reading to see what you should do next!
A Good Reason to Leave Your Excuses Behind
I had titled this ” A Good Reason to Not Resist” so I could follow that up with the Borg tagline, “resistance is futile!” I thought better of it! But resisting help usually means nothing but more struggle.
So, how’d I do with my list of potential excuses? I’m sure I left a few of your favorite excuses out. To any and all excuses, most of which are full of truth and reality, I’ll share a little ditty I recently hear about deciding if we’ll deal with our past or not. “If you don’t let the past die, it won’t let you live.” Maybe you’re thinking, “Well dang pastor, that’s exactly what I’m trying to do but you keep telling me I have to go back the relive it all over again.” Exactly. There’s only one way to “let the past die” and ignoring it surely is not it. See, for the past to die, we have to go back and kill it! Figuratively speaking of course.
I’ve been telling people for years that unexpressed emotions never die. They just go underground waiting for a chance to sneak out sideways. And when they do, you can bet it will be at the most inopportune time. Sigmund Freud said it like this, “Unexpressed emotions never die. They are buried alive and they will come forth later in uglier ways.” If you haven’t done the work to neutralize the past, it’ll neutralize you in the present. There are very few problems (squeaky wheels) in this world that fair better by being ignored. Emotions and negative experiences need to be grieved, loss needs to be faced and accepted, the pain needs to be drained. If you’d like a more graphic and gross illustration, the puss and infection must be drained or squeezed out of that abscess or zit (“gorch” if you prefer Klingon… and another Star Trek reference!) before it will get better.
In that spirit, and to all these reasonable objections, I collectively answer by submitting to you the definition of insanity.* Debate elsewhere who said it first! Maybe it’s time to try a different tact? Maybe many of these objections come to mind because someone (either human or devilish) doesn’t want you to get better or to live into your God-given potential? If you’re really and truly progressing, great. But if the honest to goodness truth is that you are stuck, don’t give in to the absurdness of insanity.* Toss aside the excuse and try something different—maybe radically different—but different nonetheless and come see if we can help you reconnect with God and find true and lasting healing and freedom.
*Insanity = doing what you’ve always done and expecting different results.