Fast forward a few years, a major move, and a master’s degree later…
My journey had first brought me to working as a therapist in a private practice setting, and now I was working full-time, as a therapist, in a residential drug and alcohol treatment center. A huge part of my work with my clients was to help them make peace with their past decisions, to bring healing to broken families, and to help the families to find reconciliation with the collateral damage left in the wake of addiction.
One of the great people that I got to know working at this treatment center was a guy named Dusty. Dusty was about a laid back and pleasant to be around as one can be. His life story and twenty-plus years of sobriety was an inspiring testimony that attracted many of our clients to him. Dusty also happened to play in a rock and roll band-The Sonics. When The Sonics had a show in San Diego (and Dusty offered me free tickets) I was quickly on the road heading south, to watch my friend play drums with his band at some place called The Irenic.
Arriving at the concert venue I wasn’t sure if we were at the right place. There were plenty of people there, but the place looked more like a church than a theater. This was the place. Once inside curiosity got the better of me. I opened up my phone to Google and typed in the word that I had never heard of before that day. And there it was:
īˈrenik – adjective formal
- tending to promote peace and reconciliation
These words spoke to me.
The story of my journey and growth through therapy, as well the growth and healing I have seen with my clients seemed to be summed up in one statement.
Maybe in one word.
It all made so much sense to me. We can’t change what has happened to us. Life doesn’t come with a “rewind” button. What has happened cannot change. Rather, as I have experienced myself, and as I have seen dozens of times with my clients, we do have the ability to reconcile and make peace with our pasts to influence our futures in a positive direction.
Sometimes we need to make peace with our families.
Other times it’s our spouses whom we need to find reconciliation with.
There are times when we need to reconcile with poor decisions of our past.
Other times it could be our employer.
Or our children.
Or our lost dreams.
Or our in-laws.
Or our losses.
Or our grief.
Struggles and challenges come from all areas of life. Marriages. Stages of life. Loss of a loved one. Career. Faith. Children. Past decisions. Family.
And they don’t simply just “go away”. Mine didn’t. I was able to find peace and reconciliation. My clients have too…
“Irenic Counseling?” I thought.
Yah, that’ll work…