“Call Jodi. She’ll know what to do.”

53 comments

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
― Martin Luther King Jr. 

There’s an interesting phenomenon that has followed me around for more than half my life. I turned it into a fulfilling career. Let me give you an example… In college, my housemate once knocked on my bedroom door. She entered my room with the phone in her hand, and told me her friend was crying and she didn’t know what to say. She barked into the mouthpiece, “Here, talk to Jodi, she will know how to help you feel better.” I remember thinking this quite odd, I don’t even know this person. I hesitantly received the phone as it was thrust into my face.

I spoke to the distraught girl, because how could I say no? I had no idea how to “make her feel better.” So I just listened. And validated her feelings. Turns out this hit the spot. And, it has worked like a charm ever since. Just listen with compassion and without judgment. Letting people’s words pour into my heart. Breathing in their pain and reflecting back love. Like Tibetan Tongling breath.

This Spring semester, marks twenty years of me being a counselor. (In January 1993, I was hired into my first internship as a counselor at a suicide hotline in Philadelphia.)

When I was in 9th grade, I wanted to be an architect. (Those who are close to me, know I still love to design and create atmosphere in physical space.) But high school was a lonely time for me, and I remember realizing that loneliness was one of the worst problems since it made all of the other problems worse.  (I still think the illusion of separation is the only problem, and isolation makes the negative stories in our head worse.)

Anyhoo….I switched gears, I made it my mission in life to “walk with people and hold their hand.” (Inspired by my fav–Leo Buscaglia.)  I decided to stand up for the poor and downtrodden, the marginalized and betrayed. I decided to be a social worker. And it fit me like a glove.

being alone robin williams

I want to help people feel filled up.

And I have been forever pleased with that decision, since I grow in love with my work everyday. Even though Rochester has seen some hard times lately. Especially because Rochester has seen some hard time lately.

The following verse was given to me by Patti Fields and hangs over my desk. It has fallen off the wall three times in the last week, as  a palpable reminder. (Read line three): 

I am here only to be truly helpful

I am here to represent God who sent me.

I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because God will direct me.

I am content to be wherever God wishes, knowing God goes there with me.

I will be healed as I let God teach me to heal.

A Course In Miracles

As you can imagine, I feel quite close to my clients. They become Part Of Me. We celebrate the ups together and make sense of the  downs together. I remind them to let up on themselves when they are judging themselves too much (always). They….

send me more people.

Susie (not her real name) walked into my office Wednesday and before hello, said, “My coworker is a hot mess. I told her to call you.”

Susie acted out the scene. “She was sitting in the back room just sobbing. ‘Here, you need to call Jodi.'” She mimed handing over my card. “‘Jodi will tell you what you feel is perfectly normal. She will tell you, you’re exactly where you are supposed to be. Here,’ I told her,’Take the purple card.”’

I am tickled by this kind of confidence in me. (And for the record I don’t tell everyone the same thing. When someone needs to go right, I say right, when someone needs to go left, I say left.) Susie’s referral speaks to me of her compassion, of her wanting her coworker to experience healing as she did.  It’s sweet.

But who says Susie wouldn’t suffice? Many people call me in when they worry they are inadequate. But they have basically saved the life already by caring. Sometimes a friend is all we need. Just a willing ear, a little compassion, some validation. Anyone can do that. Remember line three, I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because God will direct me.

In social work school, we learned that it was our job to change the world enough to put ourselves out of a job. This is still my mindset.

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”   Martin Luther King, Jr.

Over to you, how well does your current career fit you? 


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53 Comments

Harleena Singh

Great going Jodi!

Twenty years of me being a counselor is commendable indeed, and that’s the reason people trust you so much and have the faith that you would have all the answers to their questions. 🙂

Wishing you all the joy and success in this year as well. 🙂

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

I do answer questions, but the answers are not from me but come through me.:) Thanks Harleenas!

Nikky44

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
Everybody can say what you say or do what you do or followed the studies you did, but not everybody does it with Love like you do.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thank you for this quote, it is perfect and I added it to the beginning of the post. A great way to tie in today, which I couldn’t figure out how! Thanks also for the kind words!

Laura Zera

I love the quote that Nikky shared! So perfect.

Congratulations, Jodi, for all that you’ve given, for all that you still have to give.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thanks, Laura! It’s great to be on this journey with great people!

brenda

I say your blessed to have found you calling and your clients are indeed lucky to have found someone like you. I think Nikky is correct in what she says.not everyone is you. Rejoice in all that you are and can do. It’s a gift.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

It’s a keeper. People have to chose to be helped. Only then can I do anything. Thanks Brenda! Stellar post today, yourself!

Tina Barbour

Congratulations on 20 years of being a counselor, of helping those who need healing and love. I can tell that your “career” is so much more than a job or career path for you. You have such a gift for giving to others and holding them in your compassionate space.

Does my current career fit me? Not so much, I fear. It causes me a lot of stress and can be overwhelming at times, and I don’t get the enjoyment out of it that I once did. Even though I’m writing on the job, it’s not the writing that I would choose to do, and so many other things have to be done besides writing. I long to be able to write what I want full time. But that’s not in the cards in the foreseeable future.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Tina,
What if you put a little of that into every piece no matter how small it has to be. Just a crumb. And then don’t take the rest seriously! Xoxo

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Tina, Narelle (from Solid Gold Creativity) wrote this in a comment and I wanted to call your attention to it:

“For decades I used to think I was never in the right career and I used to chop and change and be consumed with doubt. Finally, just the year before last, the penny dropped. It didn’t matter what career I was in; in every job there is the opportunity to serve others. Since then it’s been very different.”

It is thought provoking!

Robert

Twenty years is impressive Jodi.

Your quite right people often just need somebody to listen to them, they don’t want help or advice they just want to have somebody listen.

My current career is web design I own my own company and work out of my home, 99.9% of my customers are via email and I will never meet them face to face. So in the day the only person to listen to me is me.

I remember a few years ago a local charity on Christmas day offered Christmas lunch to elderly people on their own. I was doing some work driving for a local company that transported the elderly and infirm so I volunteered to drive a mini bus to transport those that wanted transport. In total I helped about 35 people, chatting to them I realised that the vast majority did not in fact live alone, they lived with family such as their children but did not like them, hence they took up the offer of the Christmas dinner, I must admit I felt very sorry for those people.

Keep up the good work Jodi, as we say over this side of the pond, your one of the good ones!!
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thanks, Robert! I agree, being listened to makes us feel loved. So sad for the elderly people in your tale. You listening was like you loving. And that the most important part!

My inner Chick

I LOooooooooove this sooooooooooo much: “I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because God will direct me.”

I ask Him to direct me every single day. I also love the quote by Robin Williams.

Jodi,
a note to say I am blessed because of you.
a note to say you are changing the world.
a note to say I love you because of your non-judgement, kindness, & compassion.

xxxxxxx
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Kim, you are love and bc of you I can keep going! Cartwheels of energy! And truckloads of kisses.

Tat

It’s fantastic that you’ve had such clear clues about your calling and that you followed them. The world would be a whole different place if all of us payed attention to what’s in our hearts.

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Right, Tat, instead of our monkey minds! <3 Thanks for the comment!

solidgoldcreativity

Wow! Brilliant post. Congratulations on 20 years of service, Jodi! Well done.

For decades I used to think I was never in the right career and I used to chop and change and be consumed with doubt. Finally, just the year before last, the penny dropped. It didn’t matter what career I was in; in every job there is the opportunity to serve others. Since then it’s been very different.

Thank you for the MLK quotation. Always has the hair rise up on my body.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

This is an awesome point, really awesome, if you’re a street sweeper what do you do after enlightenment, sweep streets. It can shift everything.

Jennie

Jodi
The ACIM quote is absolutely fabulous! I too believe that we are directed by God to find our path. It is why I believe strongly in taking some action to take the Journey into Your Heart and Soul – Love Yourself and Be the Best You Can Be.
<3 and Gratitude, Jen
Must Love Journey

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thanks for being the best you can be, it starts with us.

Monica

Well done, Jodi! I can certainly see why you merit this. You are a good listener and have wonderful advice. You chose the right field. It’s perfect for you and for all who benefit from your wisdom and listening skills. 🙂
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thanks, Monica, you’re too sweet!

Bridget

I know reading your posts is almost always exactly the right thing for my mood. I don’t know how you do that, it’s like magic.

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

How kind of you to say Bridget. I am glad they help you. Your post lift me up daily as well. Truly!

Vidya Sury

What a wonderful moment of affirmation, Jodi! You’re blessed. I am glad you eased into a profession that fits you perfectly! Blessed are the people whose lives you touch. I wish you fulfillment in all the ways you wish to be fulfilled! And of course, I appreciate your support always. Now am off to read your guest post.

Hugs and love, Vidya
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thanks Vidya! I hope you enjoy it and thanks for the RT’s and Google plus promos! I am grateful! You’re a lovely, loving, lovable soul!

Sapna

HI Jodi

Awesome!

Your 20+ yrs of experience says it all, you are blessed to serve the community at large.

Sapna

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thanks Sapna, all of us bloggers are in the service business and it suits us well!

Kelly Hashway

First, that is an amazing quote! Second, my career fits me well. I’m surrounded by supportive people: my agent, my publishing houses and my publishing house sisters and brothers, my online friends, and my family. They make me feel full in the best way possible.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

You are well suited and that is why you are wildly successful. Love celebrating with you this month!

Bella

Jodi, indeed it takes patience, humanity, and above all, compassion to do and be like you. We should all be like you! When you think that it takes more energy to frown than to smile, to be vindictive than helpful, to show hatred than love, it’s ironic how some people still choose the negative. My sister, the psychologist, says that most of the time all people need is to have their feelings validated; to be in the company of someone who cares. I love how you make us think and more importantly, how she remind us that we all have it in us to be better human beings; to be loving and considerate. Hugs! 🙂
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Sometimes I think validation is the key to healing bc it is really like accepting love. And love is all we need. Everything comes down to this. No matter how I figure it. People need love.

Krystal Lynn

What a beautiful post and what a gift you have been given. I am so happy that you have chosen to share this gift and have devoted your self to serving. I have tried to “give back” by volunteering with various organizations over the years (my husband was military so we moved a lot) and since settling in Iowa I have begun thinking that this is something I need to do here. My volunteer work was sometimes more full filling than what I did as a career and there were times I wished I’d chosen a different profession, one in which I served. It is never too late though and I think I know what I need to do, your post really confirmed it for me and I am glad I read this today.

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Krystal Lynn,
I’m so glad the post gave you the push you needed to engage in fulfilling volunteer work. But I think there’s opportunity within any job or interaction to help others. You can find it everywhere if you look!
Love,
Jodi

Beverly Diehl

Your career is a perfect fit for you. You are a wonderful “listener,” though I only know you through the written word. However, there is that, you’re very good at expressing yourself in writing, as well. Maybe there’s a few more books in your future…?

My day job is one I’m very good at, and because I am, and because I work with a group of awesome people, I am happy, BUT… someday, I hope to switch to writing fulltime. Just haven’t yet worked out an angle that lets me keep the lights on.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Bev, You are a great writer. And your posts have such social consciousness. I love them. I think I can do a million things, but, really, I believe whatever you decide to do, just do it fully, ya know? I can do something else, and I would just get really into that, too! My “book” has sat unworked on for four months. It’s a long story, but I am trying to tie up some other things so I can get back to it. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

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Kim

Wonderful post. Keep on shining. I love these types of articles.

Hiten

Hi Jodi,

It’s great to be at your blog!

This was a lovely post as your passion to help others just jumps out! It’s also obvious that you love what you do. Isn’t it great when we love what do?

I loved the way you ended your post. You are right; sometimes all we need is a friend or someone who cares enough to help us, a willing ear as you put it.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

I wish everyone could love what they do. But it is because I chose it. If I chose something else, I would fall in love with it too!

Galen Pearl

I love your post title line. That’s great. Clearly, your path was set out for you before you knew it was your path. I wonder if that is true for many of us if we look back. Hmmm. Anyway, I am definitely doing what I am called to do right now. Everything “fits.” And I’ve found that we can do what we are called to do in many contexts. For example, you might have been in a different job, but still helping people in the same way. I think I was always meant to be a teacher, and even when I was practicing law, I was teaching, just not officially, if that makes sense. Anyway, I enjoyed this story as well as the message in it.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thanks Galen, you are living your truth. I love to watch it!

Kim

Truly a nice post. It does seem that your path was set out a long time ago. Which is wonderful. I too feel like I’m meant to be a teacher.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

I see that too, Kim, A beautiful one, who lift your students up! <3 Jodi

Margaret Duarte

Hi Jodi,

Again, I sensed synchronicity at work while visiting your site. I just finished reading “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” by Echart Tolle. At one point (page 175), he talks about listening to a friend who was in deep pain. “I looked at her with no thought and no judgment and listened in stillness without any mental commentary.” And then I read your statement: “Just listen with compassion and without judgment.” Wow.

You also talked about helping the poor and the downtrodden, reminding me of the prayer to St Jude I found last week on a faded newspaper clipping stuck between the pages of my mother’s Bible (which I opened for the first time since her death four years ago). The last line of the prayer says, “St Jude, helper of the hopeless, pray for us. Amen.”

And one last thing: I was trying to put into words for my query and synopsis what my protagonist learns and how she changes during the course of my novel. She wants to serve, but fears giving up her freedom and individuality. “She’s got to overcome her sense of boundary and separateness,” I wrote in my notes. “She has to let go of her past, let go of her story.” Then, there it was, in your post – thoughts so similar to my own. “…the illusion of separation is the only problem, and isolation makes the negative stories in our head worse.” Love your site!
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thanks is so cool, Margaret, but it doesn’t surprise me. The message is always the same. All different worlds and messages lead us all to the same place. Connection and Oneness. You’ll hear about it over and over. And it will heal you and everyone else through you! I am so glad we are connected! <3 Jodi

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Nikky44

I was talking to my daughter for over 2 hours. She needed advice and guidance and i kept thinking of you and telling myself, Jodi would know. I feel helpless and responsible of her problem. I feel it’s all my fault but didn’t know how to react, help or comfort her. I told her Jodi would know what to say, And I kept thinking of you and “hearing you” guiding me. After that, I came to your website because it helps. I was looking for something else. I had totally forgotten about this post. It made me smile and cry at the same time. You always know what to do, what to say, how to make someone feel better by loving. Thank you


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