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When the Structure Changes: How Mentoring Evolves as We Evolve

Well, the strange structure that I wrote about in Mentoring as a Structure and Theme for Recovery is not gone – but it certainly is changing right before our eyes!

Here is what it looked like two weeks ago when I first asked you what the heck you thought it was. Guesses included “shower,” “closet,” “outhouse” (that was my unhappy guess), and “greenhouse,” among others.

I returned home just a day or so ago after having been gone for a couple of weeks. I casually wandered out onto my deck (having

totally forgotten that the strange structure was even there!) to behold this:

I am now realizing that even our most creative guesses couldn’t visualize on our own what its creator always envisioned – what appears to be a “hunting blind”.

No way would I have seen that in the August version of our small wooden mystery. Would you?

This is a perfect example of how powerful mentoring can be.

Recently I received a question from one of our MentorCONNECT members. As a preface to her question, she wrote:

My therapist says that she just sees so much in me and wants to see me healthy and free from all negative coping. ” I hear that a lot – ‘I see so much in you’ – and I just don’t get what that means. I feel like it is just something people who counsel others say.

That is because she can’t see herself the way others do. When eyes and minds so long under Ed’s thumb (‘Ed’ is for eating disorder here) behold ourselves, we see just about everything other than the TRUTH.

But as we continue to work with our support team, and continue to hear things like “I see so much in you,” our vision changes. One day, we wake up, look at ourselves, and see so much in ourselves too!

Today’s Takeaway: What do you see when you look at yourself? If you have a mentor, a loved one, a best friend, a significant other, or a colleague who sees you differently and better than you see yourself, why do you suppose that is so?

How would you see yourself if you weren’t looking through Ed’s eyes (or the eyes of any repetitive habit-forming stress management system you are struggling to recover from)? Would you see possibilities instead of pronouncements? Beauty instead of chaos? Joy instead of pain? Recovering is not easy, but it is not impossible.

What does the strange and wonderful new structure called “you” look like as you continue recovering right into your own irreplaceable, unrepeatable, utterly unique life?

When the Structure Changes: How Mentoring Evolves as We Evolve

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2020). When the Structure Changes: How Mentoring Evolves as We Evolve. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Mar 2020
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