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The Reality of Counseling

The Reality of Counseling

Brokenness. That's the world we live in now, isn't it? Addictions, mental illness, sickness, death, divorce, the loss of family, of a career, or innocence. I ran across this poem the other day by a great speaker whom I have had the pleasure of meeting. I wanted to share it with you so that you could get a glimpse into what the lives of others might be like, the courageous clients I see every day, or, if you are like me, you may even recognize yourself. The bottom line is that we just have to love people where they are, whatever that may look like. THAT is my job.


What if I were broken? Could you still hold me close,

Embrace the jagged edges of the things that hurt the most?

Would you feel you have to fix me, or could you leave me be?

Would you love your dream of who I am more than you love me?

What if I were shattered in a thousand little bits,

Broken, beaten, battered by the molds that didn’t fit?

Could you leave the pieces lying and accept me as I am

Or would you try to reassemble me into what you understand?

What if the broken parts of me never do get healed?

Would you love the thought of wholeness more than the me that’s real?

Could you take these broken pieces and love them separately?

Though scattered, tattered, broken, can you still love me?

What if I were aching and hollowed out inside?

What if I were breaking? What if I had died?

Would you weep for who I really am or for an effigy?

Would you cry me a river? Would you cry at all for me?

What if our broken pieces are the parts that make us whole?

What if touching brokenness is how we touch the soul,

And what if loving brokenness is the only love there is?

To love imperfection—there is no love but this.

So take these jagged edges, and I will take yours, too.

Love me, in my brokenness, just as I love you.

For it is this touching that our hearts need the most.

What if I were broken? Could you still hold me close?

Copyright 2014 James E. Campbell