I’ve Really Come A Long Way…

“Getting Unstuck” & Why I Started This Blog…

20160214_111134000_iOSOne night after my family went to bed, I began my homework. While sifting through journal articles, the above quote jumped out at me. In light of recent affairs, it forced me to stop and think. At this point in life, I’m working hard to overcome old patterns and “get unstuck”. In addition to working on a Master’s degree, I’m trying to pay off some debt, and lose weight. As I work on accomplishing these goals, (and overcome a few old vices), I hope to maximize my efforts with a bit of radical self-responsibility. The idea that my hard work could yield another hamster-wheel experience frightens me.

 

second chances

imageShakesphere notes astutely that “when sorrows come, they come not as single spies but battalions.” At first, I react to crises like these with a momentary WTF!!! piss-n-moan session. After I’ve regained my “sea legs” I struggle to see beyond my hedonic knee-jerk reaction. Throughout life, holding onto this deeper meaning has been vital for purposes of emotional resiliency. For example, despite how much I can complain about my job, I appreciate knowing I’m positively impacting my patients in some small way. Thus far, I’ve only discussed this coping indirectly as it pertains to daily life. I believe, however, it is best illustrated when facing a life crisis. As I reflect on my life, I realize I’m much like a cat, granted with more than my share of second chances in life.

 

The Power of Forgiveness…

forgive…As a healthcare worker, the idea of losing a loved one is undeniably vivid due to a job that provides a ring-side seat at death’s door.  Fortunately, everyone thus far has managed to thrive.  The lessons from these “second chances” have been largely positive.  However, the occasional growing pain is inevitable and I’ve occasionally struggled in coming to terms with things.  In the recent aftermath of my sister’s breast cancer diagnosis, I’ve floundered my way through the process of forgiveness.  In my mother’s last email to me on this subject matter, I was most struck by these comments:

…those who are outside the fence do not have the SAME PERSPECTIVE and may not fully understand the gravity of the situation. You will have to forgive us (Dorene and Me) for our shortcomings in this regard. …There are always two sides to a coin, one coin whose two sides inextricably bound so the need to co-exist…

 

Radical Acceptance…

imageForgiveness is a process that takes time and conscious effort.  In addition to giving up hope that the past could be different, we must accept certain truths about our present-day reality.   Essentially forgiveness produces change as we letting go of a past in order accept a new future.  One resource I found states: “Forgiveness is a dialectical process through which people synthesize their prior assumptions of a transgression into a new understanding of….this reframing process [is] the construction of a ‘new narrative’ (Thompson, et al, 2005, p. 318).” When I read this quote, I was reminded of the concept of “Radical Acceptance” which I’d like to discuss briefly in this post…

 

What forgiveness is. (…and isn’t)

This week in my therapy groups, we discussed the concept of forgiveness. As we read through the materials, many participants had stories to share. They struggled to forgive others who wronged them. They struggled to forgive themselves for the mistakes they’ve made. I had a profound gratitude for these individuals, in their willingness to share these struggles honestly. In some respects, I had to admit I was really looking into the mirror upon myself. It is for this reason, I felt the insights learned during this group session, were worth a blog post…..

 

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