I’m a pastoral counselor and a writer, and you can see more about that at my website Nancy Kilgore. I started this blog to write and reflect on some of the things that are most important to me now: Creativity, spirituality, however they pan out, as well as weekly thoughts.
I had two grandparents, neither of whom I ever knew, who were big influences on my life: my maternal grandmother, a musician and a suffragist, and my paternal grandfather, a Presbyterian minister and a pacifist in World War I. I heard their stories growing up and their causes became embedded in my consciousness: social justice for women and not going around killing people in meaningless wars, what could be more important?
I come from a long line of Presbyterian ministers, none of them women, of course, but I’ve always wondered if my penchant for mysticism and social justice was genetic. And if perhaps those ancestors, too, like me, found the venue of the church the only way to – sort of – live with these dimensions of life. Within a structure, an organization where one could delve into these realms and at the same time actually earn a living.
For me, the parish pastorate was not ultimately a fit. But as a pastoral counselor I get to talk with people not only about psychology, but about spirituality, religion, theology, meditation, mysticism. Though I work with a variety of people and a variety of belief systems, including atheists (a non-belief system, I suppose,) I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have some sense of what gives life meaning and found it helpful to tap into that in therapy.
And being a writer is also a fit! I love to imagine a story, people, situations, different values and belief systems, play with all of these and see where it goes.