I was reading through some notes in preparation for a radio interview I had today, and I found all these quotes that I wrote down. Many of them, in my mind anyway, relate to being a music therapist. Actually, I have pages and pages of quotes I really like, but I’ll start with this one:
“If I were to force open a rosebud by peeling back the petals, the results would look nothing like the beautiful flower it could have been had it opened naturally.”
(from the Daily Word, March 26th, 2003)
You know how you read something, or you see something, and you instantlyknow that it was meant to give you some sort of guidance? Well, that was what it was like for me to read that passage.
At the time I was coming to an awareness that I wanted my clients to move forward already- to grow (if you will) and flourish. I also noticed my tendency toward rushing to interpret. I wasn’t quite getting (yet) the idea that people will come to their realizations in music therapy when they’re ready to do so, and it will mean more because they came to the awareness on their own.
I can’t say that I’ve completely let that go, but the image of forcing a rosebud to open was a powerful one for me, and it helped me to see why my approach wasn’t that helpful.
A variation on that theme would have to be a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“People only see what they are prepared to see.”
So we impatient folks, yet again, have an opportunity for learning in our work. I certainly have, over the years, had to (regularly) ask myself what my hurry is, why am I so invested in the outcome, and whose need am I meeting here...not just in my work as a professional but in my personal life as well. Hmm. These are all good questions, and I think it’s time to reconsider them now.