February 4, 2020 at 5:37 pm #5488
First, I want to have you think about the quote from Kierkegaard – “Life can only be understood backward but it must be lived forward.” I think this applies to the comment we often hear that “God never gives us more than we can bear.” Well, perhaps in hindsight this is true but not in the midst of a crisis. I know in the midst of my cancer journey people wanted to know what I was learning. Nothing! It was awful. But now that I am out of the daily grind of it, I am having a chance to reflect and do think I am learning some important things. Understood backward but lived forward.
Second, I wanted to challenge you to look at your thinking. I like what Sandberg says about the second derivative – “when I was down, I felt down that I was down.” I kind of had that today. I was feeling irritable and tired, and felt bad about that. Can you describe a time when this was true for you?
Finally, I had wanted to challenge you to do one of the following in the last week: come up with a sermon on resilience; develop a teaching for your workplace about loss and resilience; consider forming what Sandberg calls a “lean in circle.” Since we are short on time, imagine doing this. Which one would you find more meaningful? I really like the idea of a lean in circle – kind of like a support group. We have a group here at my hospital for those Living With Cancer. It is for patients and caregivers. It is a place we lean into what we are experiencing and support each other. Perhaps this is akin to leaning into the suck we already mentioned.
We will stay connected through the weekend, so respond as able.
February 10, 2020 at 4:11 pm #5515
Well, I seem to have lost everyone in the last week. We have come to the end of our time together and I just wanted to wish you all well as you care for those in the midst of crisis. I pray you will all find hope in the Option B’s of life!
Grace and peace,
February 11, 2020 at 12:16 pm #5539
You haven’t lost me and suspect others will want to make final comments in response to your provocative questions and challenges above.
I had prostate cancer and the radiation seed implant several years ago that was scary in the middle of it. I had a retinal detachment a few years ago and after a month had to have a second surgery because the first surgery didn’t hold. Consequently, I was blind in one eye for a period of time and there was some question about whether or not I would regain any eyesight in that eye. My dad was an alcoholic during my formative years causing much chaos in our family. My son was lost in addiction for 12 years before getting sober. As mentioned earlier, I went through a painful divorce many years ago. There have been several major challenges in my professional career. And I could go on. In the middle of those, I can’t say I was aware of learning stuff. I was overwhelmed with dealing with my feelings and coping. BUT, after these events, I was able to reflect, utilize therapy, spiritual direction and meditation to learn much that has made me stronger, more insightful and more helpful to others going through tough times. I agree with the author, it is important to deal with the feelings as they come up but remind ourselves that this too will pass.
This leads me to the second question you raise. I used to feel bad that I felt bad and I still have some of that. But through the years, I have come to accept those times, embrace it, share it, process it, and let it go.
I preach this Sunday, So I will accept your challenge to preach on the topic of building resilience. I have been at my little, rural church for 11 years and during that time have conducting the funerals of many older members. Obviously, these were folks who were loved ones of persons we still have actively involved.
Thank you, Trish, for leading us through this discussion. I hope others will post their final thoughts. The book was a great read. It was a wonderful mix of the personal story supported by research citations. I have been emersed in reading the research on resilience in the aftermath of trauma. This book and discussion have fit in with that journey.
March 10, 2020 at 4:05 pm #5594
I loved this quote in the book. I have days when I tell my colleagues, I am in a foul mood, or I am just tired, or this was so hard, or I am just mad. I am drawing space for my own processing. My colleagues are so supportive. I feel like we process well together. We have a plant in our office. It is a symbol of grief. We planted it with rituals to process grief. There are shells around the planter. We tend to the plant because it is a transformed symbol of hope. I take the challenge of support. I tend to be a verbal processor but also lone in giving others support but not seeking support. This book is important because it releases the power of the elephant in the room. I feel a parallel to Sheryl because, no one really wants to listen or hear the hurts in our hearts. I have tried through the years to reach out or lean into people, they simply are uncomfortable and cannot share support. Perhaps that is one reason why chaplaincy means so much to me. I don’t want people to suffer or feel alone. Thank you so much for all your work! Blessings of health and on your incredible ministry!
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