Last year was difficult for many. It was filled with divisiveness, exclusion, and fear. However, I also noticed an increase in people working together, speaking up for tolerance and open-mindedness – something that takes a great deal of courage. As I think about the New Year, I feel optimistic. I also feel a keen sense of urgency and obligation to be a source of healing within families and communities. To help clients listen effectively and speak courageously. We need more of this in 2018 and I am determined to ensure The Montfort Group continues to be a warm place for this community to grow. The ripple effect each of us have can be instrumental in changing the collective atmosphere.
In light of this, I have decided to focus this year on the importance of stories. Your story, my story, “their” story. Not just the stories we find easy to digest, but learning to hear – truly hear – the stories that are difficult to agree with, and perhaps hard to understand. You and your partner may be struggling to communicate about important topics, maybe your teenager doesn’t talk much at all, or there is a part of your personal narrative that you feel shame around that makes it seem impossible to tell it to anyone. From aging parents, growing children, various personalities at work, neighbors and friends with differing points of view, we all need help sometimes to hear what someone is really trying to tell us and to learn how to communicate the more vulnerable parts of our story.
So, throughout the year, we will be talking and writing about the topics that I truly believe are necessary to building healthy relationships.
Showing up. Paying attention. Speaking your truth. Letting go of the outcome.
Also, last year, we partnered with Pen and Napkin, a nonprofit working to rebuild the lives of women and children who have been victims of domestic violence. My beautiful cousin, Megan, is the VP of Development and it was an honor to work with her. However, this year, we want to partner with a charity that works within our own community. We have chosen to work with Hope’s Door in Plano, TX. This nonprofit also serves the victims of domestic violence and specializes in comprehensive intervention and prevention services for everyone affected by intimate partner and family violence – from victim to abuser. Be on the lookout for our work together throughout the year.
I have been practicing therapy for quite some time now and I will never take it for granted. I still feel honored each time a client sits in front of me to tell their story. So, thank you – to those of you who have given us the privilege to work with you during some of the most difficult moments in your life. I respect your willingness to learn new ways of speaking, thinking, and listening.
My hope this year is that we each make time to tell more of our own story and learn to listen and respect another’s. Our team is committed to being a positive source of education and encouragement for all your relationship needs.
Each story matters here.