Self Awareness and COunseling Marguerite Cummings

What is Self - Awareness?

A chart based upon different teachings that come up pertaining to counseling

When an individual becomes a counselor they must know what their beliefs and stances are. They must know themselves before they can help others. But, they also must be able to not have a biased opinion based upon belief that are unlike their own.

How can this relate to Laudato Si?

In both the counseling field and in instances relating to theology self-awareness is a key term used in order to know many things. Whether it be your beliefs, thoughts, and personal beings they all go hand in hand.

In Laudato Si, we are reminded that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs”.

"spoken in particular of the need for each of us to repent of the ways we have harmed the planet, for “inasmuch as we all generate small ecological damage”, we are called to acknowledge “our contribution, smaller or greater, to the disfigurement and destruction of creation”.

In this teaching, he is discussing Earth and how in the past ten years we have looked past all the pain and suffering she has endured in order to help us thrive. There are many things in which it is too late to fix but by helping little by little we can help create a more beautiful world.

Think of a church as your own session with a counselor. But instead of your counselor being a human-being it is GOD. Anything you would say to GOD a counselor is there to hear you and help you.

Above is a video describing the development of your self awareness and how it helps one live a fulfilled life.

In order to have a successful counseling career one must admit their beliefs and faults but be able to leave them at the door. Once you are in a session there is no more of your own thoughts, it is up to your client. You are there for them not them for you. This can go into the idea of helping the environment and Earth because although some individuals may claim that these are not actual issues. It has become hard to look beyond the truth when it is in front of your eyes.

Ice caps melt more and more each day

Counseling versus Mother Earth

In many instances one can relate Mother Earth as our own patient pertaining to our counseling careers. We must see and hear the repercussions of many years of abuse towards the land and now we finally are listening and trying to help her. But, it is unknown exactly how we will save it forever.

When taking part in a counseling career an individual will hear of others difficulties and traumas throughout their lives and the scars that are left behind from those years of abuse. This is much like the Earth in the sense that although for years we have been abusing her no one ever thought about the repercussions of their actions until recently.

"Mother Knows Best"

Why is earth referred to as mother?

A Greco-Roman personification of nature that focuses on the life-giving and nurturing aspects of nature by embodying it, in the form of the mother.
A mother with her chicks. A mother is teaching her young how to live their own lives in the best way she knows how. Much like mother earth has provided us with everything we need for years without us asking

"This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life."

Many times in the theologian world individuals are represented as "brothers and sisters". This goes along with the concept of Earth being the mother and God is the "almighty father".

These pictures represent the sadness that comes about when the harsh conditions are ignored. This can relate to both the Earth and the counseling field.

How can YOU become more self aware and live more sustainably?

Sustainable living is described as, "a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources, and one's personal resources. Its practitioners often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint"

"replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an asceticism which “entails learning to give, and not simply to give up. It is a way of loving, of moving gradually away from what I want to what God’s world needs. It is liberation from fear, greed and compulsion”.
"As Christians, we are also called “to accept the world as a sacrament of communion, as a way of sharing with God and our neighbors on a global scale. It is our humble conviction that the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God’s creation, in the last speck of dust of our planet”.
A theologian interpretation of "Mother Earth" pertaining to both good and evil. Including both humans and animals. As a "mother" she is said to raise us all. Feed us from her individual breasts and once she feels as though we are ready she sets us free and we are on our own to make decisions.

What can you do?

  • reduce, reuse, recycle
  • eliminate waste
  • eliminate plastic
  • metal straws
  • BYOC (bring your own cup)
These are just a few options for sustainable living
Shown above are just a few examples in which you can replace products with better options. Boxed water bottles and stainless steel bottles are better options than plastic.

Self Awareness in the Earth

As seen in the examples above, when an individual decides to take the step to help our world, they are doing more than just a simple things. They are lessening their waste, creating more opportunities for themselves and others, and taking matters into their own hands to save the environment little by little.

Different images showing repercussions of our abuse towards the Earth.

What will happen if we ignore these cries for help

"Unless we take immediate action to reduce global warming emissions, these impacts will continue to intensify, grow ever more costly and damaging, and increasingly affect the entire planet"

What happens when a counselor or other individual ignores someones cry for help?

Throughout the past ten years rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide have sky rocketed. Each have gone up by at least 2% each year. Many people either do not ask for the help they need or they are not given the resources needed before it is too late.

What now? How can we Help? What can we do?

"Throughout your everyday life there are little steps one can take in order to help save our mother"

This chart helps represent small ways an individual can help out saving the Earth.

What do individuals of higher power have to say about these situations

“Through the greatness and the beauty of creatures one comes to know by analogy their maker;" indeed, “his eternal power and divinity have been made known through his works since the creation of the world”. For this reason, Francis asked that part of the friary garden always be left untouched, so that wild flowers and herbs could grow there, and those who saw them could raise their minds to God, the Creator of such beauty. Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise".

-Laudato Si

This quote above stuck out to me because I feel as though we as humans try and push the blame on someone or something for every wrongdoings that happen in everyday life. I feel as though this quote truly captures what we all want. A divine world that is whole.

This picture reminded me of life and beauty in wreckage.

How to make this concept visible in the counseling field

When one chooses to live more sustainably they're unconsciously choosing to help the Earth. By taking the step to be aware of the Earth they are not only helping themselves but others as well. Being aware of what they are putting out into the world is a key concept with self-awareness.

Choosing sustainable living projects onto others and you are helping those around you without even trying.

Help others. Ask how they are. Take time for yourself. You can make someones day.

Created By
Marguerite Cummings


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