Monday, September 24, 2018


Someone To Talk To | Turn Depression To Happiness breakfast table setting to describe the feeling of community and effective relationships that is enabled from telephone counseling The Power of a Community
A number of years ago in my university days, I was forced to stay at school and take a summer course on auditing and taxation - not the most exciting way to spend the summer but the most difficult part of this challenge was being away from family and friends, and I came to a place where I was pretty emotionally low. Every week I would phone home and I would talk and often complain about what was going on and what wasn't going on and then one day, over the phone listening to me, my dad asked “what do you really need, what do you want?”. I thought about the question for a second and said, “I want to come home” - and he said, “you should come home”. Even though I had been independent for a number of years, I found myself twenty-four hours later sitting at the kitchen table talking with my dad. I was working hard at school but I just needed to be home and after a little while at home and reconnecting, refocusing, and realigning I was ready to go back recharged and able to accomplish what I was called to do.

Certainly, we all can identify with that moment when you realize what you really want – “I want to be home”, and whether it's a child away at camp for the first time or a student away at university or just that feeling that overcomes, overwhelms and creates an ache in us, we all understand that desire to be in a place where we are understood, known, valued, loved and celebrated and a place where we can really just be ourselves.

For some of you that was the home you grew up in and it's pretty easy to go back there. For others it's the home you live in now. But sadly, for some of us, it's an experience that doesn’t exist now and or that has never been experienced. That sense of belonging, that idea that makes for great movies eludes us and we look for ‘likes’ on social media as we acknowledge that something inside us aches and longs and understands that there is a place that we need to belong - a place called home. And while we wait and watch and journey towards that desire to be home, we don't travel alone - there are many others that we interact with, that we try to form a family and build a safe community with that we can commit ourselves to. We long to be connected to others, to build a relationship that lasts and has no barriers and allows us to be together.

So how do we do it? To help move forward along this track you need to keep focused on a simple model and a pathway centered around Connection and Commitment. These words can act as a guide that can help you develop, evaluate yourself and allow you to assess if you are hitting the mark. Each of these words need to be present in everything that you do.

happy daughter father relationship present as a result of effective relationships created through help of telephone counseling
Connection is so important because if we are going to be a person whose life is transformed we need to create opportunities for people to meet us, and to create environments where people can connect with us. The number one felt need in every person’s life is the need to belong and the need for a relationship. In our Western culture we have everything you could possibly ever want except one thing – a community relationship, and you can't buy that. In talking with people who have traveled I've come to conclude that we are the loneliest people on the planet. You go to other parts of the world where they have far less than we do in so many ways and yet you think oh my goodness oh how they love each other and how they care for each other. Sadly, we greet each other physically tired, emotionally drained, and we relationally isolate and are often unaware that our greatest simple need is to be reminded that we are loved and that we all are better off because we are here together. Once we realize that, we then have an opportunity to extend that love to those around us. This is the key to an abundant life - do this and it will turn the key and open the door - learn to love others.

In our lives so often, we try and try and try again. I'm going to try this week to be a better person. I'm going to do it this time. I'm going to try and try really hard this time and not let it go. Sometimes I wonder if on our gravestones it will read he really, really tried. But we try and we fail over and over, and we wipe out and we get reminded regularly that we're not able to get there. People say try harder, try to get over it, try to do it this time - but the reality is we cannot do it alone – we need someone to help us create a new habit, a new way of life, a person to say let's walk and learn this together. We need to take the pressure off so we can learn and love, and only then will we really live.

If there's one thing I want you to take away from this article it's this: the key to having an abundant life is to become engaged in an authentic loving community. That's not a nice to have, it’s an essential. This isn't about having a greeter at Walmart you know and can wave to, it’s about having someone who sees you, who knows you, who loves you, values you and you connect with each other in a real and authentic way - not just when you see each other at the scheduled times in life. Connection is the first step towards that authentic community.

I was designed to be in relationship with you and you with me and we were designed to bring others into that relationship and to be in community together. We get a sense of that community in our connection with family, in marriage, with children, with parents. However, we sometimes lose sight of the fact that we’re not designed to go it alone and that ache for home that ache for community reminds us of our very nature. But here’s the problem – quite often it’s our own selfishness that shows up and wrecks and destroys our community. Community can be lost far quicker than it can be built and as soon as you put yourself first, you start down the path to ruin. I wish it was true that people after being selfish, could acknowledge it, communicate with one another and share how they’ve struggled, how they’ve failed and forgive each other. But the fact is that when the community starts to crumble people hide from each other. They cut-off, reject, and betray each other and it stings bad. As disunity breaks down the relationship, strife picks up a torrent pace and we end up broken, hurting, destroyed, lonely, abandoned and in the exact opposite place that we were designed to be.
But there is good news – the community can be recovered! You simply need to open up your life and say “I want to come home”. From there the healing can begin. You have the key in your hand. Open up the door and start the journey back home to rebuild the foundation.

women smiles as picture is taken at home most likely by close relationship made more effective through telephone counseling sessions
Know also that while you can be a good neighbor and work with people and engage with people - they will disappoint you, and you will disappoint them, and you will hurt them, and you will make mistakes. It is hard and it is not perfect. And because you know that you won’t love perfectly or be loved back perfectly - you don't need them to give you a sense of identity, of belonging or self-worth. Just free yourself to love and come alongside and be together. When you do, something beautiful will start to happen and that risk you take of moving back into a community and loving those who are hard to love will generate a real connection that you don't have to fake. People will be there for you in a real and vital way.

Now that you have read this article there is no excuse. You know what needs to be done, you have been initiated. You are the ones who now need to reach out in a loving way, serve and be willing to initiate the work, even if that puts you in a very vulnerable place. Your required actions of faith and trust and openness to take on this journey could hurt and disappoint you. But, it's worth it!

Always be a person who provides an opportunity to connect that is authentic. We are united not just in our triumphs and our victories but in our common weaknesses, failures, disappointments and in the consistency that we are not a perfect community. Every single day there are lonely people around you in the world that you live beside, that you work with, you interact with and you have the opportunity to treat them in a way that demonstrates togetherness and hope.

People change for two reasons:
  1. because of what others do, that you did not ask them to do, and you didn't even know to ask them to do, and
  2. because they encounter the love of people who are willing to talk, listen, share and hold them accountable; and when they need, sometimes, to suffer the consequences of mistakes, those people choose not to grind their nose in it
Let's become a connected authentic community so that we can experience an abundant happy life.

If you've ever been to California, you may have driven through the redwood forests and seen some of the largest living trees on earth. Some of them are over three hundred feet high and they estimate that some of them over two thousand years old. You would think a tree that large would have an incredible root system with roots almost as deep as the tree is high - but not with the redwoods. In fact, they have a very shallow root system because of where they grow but their roots are intertwined. They're locked together with each other so when the storms come and the winds blow the redwood still stands.

There lies an incredible opportunity around us as each day to heal our lonely planet and the loneliness that has touched so many of us with a counter-cultural vision that demonstrates that there is a home in an authentic community. Serving one another is contagious and people can't stay away from it as relationships grow stronger. The small relationship and community you once had will not stay small for long. Others will notice the difference you make and want to become part of that community - this week you're going to be in a staff room, or hanging out with your friends, or doing something and you say, “this feels good, we're connecting, we're laughing” – and I'm telling you it's a glimpse of something way greater and a much deeper truth demonstrating that you were designed for relationships with each other and through them an abundant life.
banner ad for telephone counseling services and smart expert counselors

A TeleCounsel Group counselor can effectively partner and guide you in this journey. We all need help getting there, and the short time spent retraining your habits and living more effectively and harmoniously in relationships will prove to be well worth it. We look forward to working with you to achieve this end. Please call us at 1-855-257-9444.

References: Andrew Gordon (Speaker). (2018, September). Messages [Audio]. Retrieved from

Featured Post

Combating Depression

Expert Depression Counselors|Let's Put Smart To Work What is Depression? Depression is a medical condition that negatively affects h...