what they are teaching me

You think you know what you have to offer, but you’re always surprised by those you think to be the recipients.

In the last few weeks, on top of counseling with individuals one on one, I’ve been helping facilitate group therapy for people who have lost someone to homicide.

The first meeting, I flew in to the group meeting, just in time, from a day at Pathways filled with clients.

I sat around the table, and felt my emotions move from wherever I store them to the edges of my eyelids. I heard stories from men and women who have had fathers, mothers, daughters, brothers and sons stolen from them. The weight is incredibly heavy, and yet, they show up. They have their clothes on, their faces on, and their minds on.

And they show up. No matter what.

One man talked about the temptation to get in “the mode.” He went on to describe a mode that keeps him trapped in sorrow, pain, and the stories of the past and futures that will not be realized. He said he works hard to keep from falling into that “mode.” And when he does fall into that mode, he recognizes it, stops, keep going.

And that was where he made all the difference for me. I heard his wise, steady, strong voice for the next eight days.

Recognize it. Stop it. And keep going.

I continue to play out conversations, actions, past and future possibilities that could be different. And when I don’t pay attention, these played-out conversations consume the space in my mind that could be occupied with far more beneficial things. And in the past, when I have discovered myself stewing there, I have added anger to misery.

But I hear his voice now.

Recognize it. Stop it. And keep going.

If five minutes later, I have to stop stewing about what is distressing me and look to all that is hopeful––it’s the same response.

Recognize it. Stop it. And keep going.

Thanks to the man in our support group who is working through his own unspeakable grief––and who, in the process, is changing my world.

Pine Tree Dr.

6 thoughts on “what they are teaching me

  1. Kathy Clark says:

    Thank you Donald, is what I needed to hear today! 🙂

  2. Jen says:

    Isn’t it cool how God can speak through that man and can pierce you with heart with truth…. Glad you were at a place to take his words 🙂

  3. Katie Hayes says:

    saw the link to this via twitter. good words, d jordan. thanks for sharing.

  4. […] POSTS | What they are teaching me | What they are teaching me 2  Rate this: Share this:FacebookEmailTwitterLike this:LikeBe the […]

  5. […] practitioners in the helping fields, especially those practitioners who are Christians, as we falsely imagine that we are the changing force in the lives of our clients.  It’s something that lurks in church offices and behind the desks and efforts of those who […]

  6. […] A few loops in now, I remembered that the last time I walked this labyrinth, whatever my intentions were faded quickly, and I simply become fully present in body and spirit learning the art of simply putting one step in front of the other: something the homicide-loss group teaches me often.  […]

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