We had the good fortune of connecting with Gloria Dukes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gloria, what matters most to you?
These days people are grappling to find some meaning to life or to the chaos that have characterized it throughout the past year and has inexplicably seeped into this one. Many wrestle to make sense of the conflict and the hatred, strife and confusion that is defining these days. However, there is one guiding principle that has always endured through the most controversial times and that speaks most to my heart and that is love. The bible called Christians to love God with all their hearts, soul and mind and love others as themselves. Love transcends language barriers, race, social-economic backgrounds, cultures, walks of life and pain. Love has no bounds. It just is. I firmly believe that if love is the starting point, there is nothing that cannot be achieved. Love has been overused so many times and many people hear it and instantly give the eye roll and ignore whatever comes after the point. However, this is one time that love is the only solution for a world that is hurting. If we stopped and took the time to genuinely walk in another’s shoes and try to see that there is not much difference between people outside of some name brand clothes versus more tattered coverings, extra money in the wallet verses living check to check, and the layer of skin that covers us. However, at the core of people, there are similarities, there is familiarities, and there is sameness. When someone hurts, pain is felt. Now some may cover it better than others, but it is felt just the same. Some have been taught harshness and hate because of a challenging upbringing but hurt still seeps into rough exteriors to the core and innermost parts. As Mandisa states in her song, “We all bleed the same.” Regardless of the challenges people may bring, love masters them all. People are made to live in concert with each other. No man is an island. By our very nature, we crave interaction with others and desire to be in the presence of others. When hurt comes, or need or challenge or strife, people lean into family, friends, church, or support systems. If they do not, the desire is there to do so, but maybe fear holds their feet still. The insecurity of that possibly no one being there for them if they reach out, so don’t try. My genuine love for people dictates my desire to see them discover the best version of themselves buried underneath whatever pain, heartache or trauma that life has brought their way. It is my tendency to lean into troubled waters where others draw away, that best describes who I am. I have a genuine desire to know and understand another’s story and empathize with the pain faced on their journey. Values often help us walk in purpose. Coincidentally, I spent a great deal of time chasing my purpose and trying to create what I believed was my purpose, however, this is the first time, I felt at home with what I was doing in a real and congruent way. I believe it is because it incorporates my love and desire for others to succeed and to flourish in their relationships, with their families and most importantly inside themselves. A life well-lived is a life dedicated to purpose where God is the central guiding light. He is leading in the direction of challenges that grow us, mold us and push us to become whatever He purposed. Fulfilling His purpose is far more noteworthy and impactful than anything self-created. According to Ortberg (2014), in Soulkeeper, “You are only able to live in a way that really helps and loves others when your soul feels it’s worth.” The only way that I know to live the best life possible is to fill it with love and let it overflow on all that comes my way. In this way, I am living my most valued principle, love.Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a Marriage and Family Therapist- Associate who have contracted to work with Heal, Grow, Share, PLLC. I work with adults, couples, families and teens children. I use a variety of modalities, but focus most on Emotionally-Focused and Solution Focused therapy. I work with clients from a diverse array of concerns such as marital problems, anxiety, depression, divorce, infidelity, parenting, self-concept, life-cycle change, loss of employment, isolation, and school related challenges. What sets me apart from other therapist is both my passion to help create a safe place for clients to share their truth and develop with them a meaningful way forward . A place where they can heal the hurts and pain that surround their issue. Next, I desire to teach them skills that will allow them to grow from not only this incident but for any others that may come their way. In this way, they are empowered to take charge of their own lives. They can utilize these skills continually in the challenges that face them. These healthy habits will flow throughout their family and touch those they love. Additionally, I am set apart because I allow my faith, my love for people and my strong desire for them to succeed past their current worst moment to guide my counseling. It is significant for me to ensure all clients know that this moment, and this pain does not have to define their life. This wound can be healed and the moment will pass. Their growth comes from pushing through it, learning from it and moving forward. My greatest challenge to overcome was juggling work, life balance. I struggled with how to handle graduate school, practicum, work, maintaining a household and a demanding toddler then small child. Long nights studying when my little one wanted me to get rid of the monsters in her closet and late nights typing a paper while rocking her to sleep. It was not the easiest task I have had, but I persevered and accomplished it. Additionally, I had to lean on close friends to keep my child as I had no close family around and my internship was conducted after daycares were closed. Consequently, I learned to rely on friends and that God did not leave me here to struggle alone. He blessed us with support systems and people on which we can rely. It is up to us to take advantage of his blessings and not allow pride to hamper progress and deter from our goal. There is nothing wrong with asking for help or and allowing yourself to be blessed by another person. I want the world to know that I am a determined, passionate and loving person who demands the best out of myself and those I touch. I will work to help the clients that cross my path to live their best life and to passionately pursue the most genuine, exceptional and authentic parts of themselves. I will assist them in growing, developing and becoming the best version of themselves. My faith, passion, determination and drive challenges me to constantly seek better for myself and those I serve. It is my commitment to heal the hurts of the ones who cross my path and to inspire them to grow from each experience.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Were my best friend to come join me in Dallas for a visit, we would definitely have to do brunch at Hattie’s in North Ocliff or Meddlesome Moth in the Design district. A nature walk at White Rock and Katy Trail and a visit to the Arboretum, Botanical Gardens, the Dallas Aquarium and the Perot Museum for more beautiful nature. Dallas Museum of Arts, the Dallas Cowboy stadium and the Practice facilities in Frisco are a must. Of course, if it was that time of year, a stop over at the State Fair of Texas could not be missed. Some authentic Mexican food would be on the list from maybe El Fenix, Chuy’s or Ernesto’s. We would pay a visit to the House of Blues and or a visit to the Music Hall for some fun. Sundays would find us at One Community Church for their Sunday service. However, most of our time would spent lounging at home with barbeque on the grill, jazz in background and the fire-pit lit while we gossiped and laughed about life.Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate this Shoutout to Dr Teresa Chang, Supervisor of Marriage and Family Therapy who have lead, mentored, inspired and supported me in many significant ways. She challenges me to do my best and expects nothing short of excellence. She teaches me to learn both from my mistakes and from each experience that life brings my way. Additionally, I would love to dedicate this Shoutout to Heal, Grow, Share and Dee Jones who gave me the opportunity to practice my passion in a meaningful and effective way through the clients I touch. There is always enthusiasm, understanding and opportunities to do what I love in creative and purposeful ways. I am truly blessed with great motivators who continually challenge me to the next exceptional and creative thing that speaks to my heart and touches others.