I was going through boxes from my old office to throw away things I didn't need. In one box I found a poem given to me by a coworker many years ago. I loved it so much, I carried it with me from office to office. I don't know the author but I find it holds a special place in my heart.
I hold the hands of people I never touch.
I provide comfort to people I never embrace.
I watch people walk into brick walls, the same ones, over and over again, and I coax them to turn around and try to walk in a different direction.
People rarely see me gladly. As a rule I catch the residue of their despair.
I see people who are broken and people who only think they are broken.
I see people who have had their faces rubbed in their failures.
I see weak people wanting anesthesia and strong people who wonder what they have done to make such an enemy of fate.
I am often the final pit stop people take before they crawl across the finish line that is marked: I Give Up.
Some people beg me to help.
Some people dare me to help.
Sometimes the beggars and the dare-ers look the same. Absolutely the same. I am supposed to know how to tell them apart.
Some people who visit me need scar tissue to cover their wounds.
Some people who visit me need their wounds opened further, explored for signs of infection and contamination.
I make those calls too.
Some days, I'm invigorated by it all. Some days I am numbed.
Always, I am humbled by the role of helper.
And, occasionally, I'm ambushed.
My job is wonderful and hard. I admit that. I have no problem sharing that with clients either, because their lives are hard too. We are in it together. I am giving thanks today for my new office. I begin this week seeing clients there. It is my home. If you want to venture and grow with me, then you are welcome here. If you are completely scared and unsure, you are welcome here. Everyone that wants to try is welcome here.