August Rain

August was named after Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire. One would expect it to be a robust transition oriented month. Yet for me, it did not have these qualities. It was a month of fluidity. The rain seemed to flow into the days and flow out, with the same breath. August transitioned us, holding us slowly as the weather changed, as if attempting to ease us the change of season.

August was also the month that I decided to stop seeing couples at the Southwestern Counseling Center and spend more time focused on my own self-care. In hindsight this seems like a simple positive choice but at the time it was really challenging. It was stepping away from a perceived need in my community and it felt selfish.

I fell prey to the classic vulnerability in the field: confusion between self-care and selfishness. Self-care is taking care of yourself so that you are strong in all domains of your being: body, mind, heart, and spirit. Selfishness is being excessively concerned with yourself to the determent of your community. The transition to the winter months corresponds to a transition back to the self, highlighting the importance of sleep, restoration, and introspection.

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