People often ask why this website is named Metanoia Today. I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about why I felt that this name was so fitting to the mission of my website and blog, and even how I conceptualize my therapy practice.
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines Metanoia as a transformative change of heart. The Greek word means to change ones mind. It has also been described as the process or journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self, or way of life. And most definitions add that it is deeper than just changing ones mind, but involves a spiritual conversion, or repentance. And Eastons Bible dictionary claims this comes as a result from obtaining knowledge.
And that is what counseling can be. It can be a way to shed light on what we are doing that isn't working, and offer guidance in a new direction. The approach can be a simple as learning to change ones thougths (one's mind). Or it could be a radical change in ones very direction in life. But it always requires some sort of change. And the therapist's role is to create an environment conducive to that change.We do that by "holding space" for others. We give space to experience and express emotions. We offer compassion and acceptance, a sense of safety and understanding and hope. And the individuals role is in taking the steps to implement that change.
I often warn people that change can be very disruptive. It can disrupt relationships and others expectations. It disrupts our habit and our comforts. Sometimes it feels like opening pandoras box and witnessing all of the frightning things that we keep in there. But change in a new direction can be life affirming. We find out as we push through self imposed or other imposed obstacles we find out how strong and resiliant we are. We can achieve dreams we thought impossible and we can also grow closer to others, develop more authentic relationships and live with personal integrity. We can grow closer and walk with our Creator. And we learn more about our own unique design and purpose and can live out of that. In essense we KNOW more, we HEAL and we GROW.
This Metanoia process, it is a journey. It doesn't happen all at once, but as we put one step in front of the other, and always just take that next right step rather than focusing on how far we have to go or all the confusion of what ifs. The journey itself is life changing and an adventure. And with any adventure there are times of challenge and confusion and maybe even exhaustion. But remember, the chapter you are in is not a definition of your whole story, it's only a part of it.
So your journey is waiting for you, the challenge is yours if you are willing to take it. It begins with your choice, your pace, your desire to go as far as you want to go and your surrender to the process. And it can start as soon as today, one small shift in thought, one small step in a new direction. It can start with a phone call to a find a therapist for support, or your pastor, or a coach or a friend. It can start by finding a likeminded support group online. It can start with picking up the Bible and letting the love letter of God heal you and direct you. And if you have been hurt by the church or religion, find a mentor who can help heal those wound and help you discover the true healing loving power of the Living God. When the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change, your journey can begin.
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