That’s Some Bad Gr(Attitude)!
“I didn’t ask for a year like this has been. Why would I have?”
“You know what? I’d trade a boring life for this kind of grief anytime.”
“You’re telling me to be grateful at a time like this?”
I gotta tell you, I hate that exercise at the Thanksgiving when they go around and everyone has to say what they’re grateful for. Ugh! It’s like a gray-scale version of being suddenly locked in a squeeze with a too-desperate stranger at a conference get-to-know-you exercise and having them demand, “Say you love me. Say it like you mean it.” (Can you tell I’ve been there?)
And in a year in which so many families have experienced hardship and loss, it can be particularly wrenching to reach for any sense of gratitude, much less gratitude that has to be expressed, potentially in front of friends of friends, and over Zoom.
But THE HUMAN JOURNEY® gives me a tool for this, especially since it’s designed to help families joined by biology, choice, or mutual support to start to see the current “challenge of their lives” as ones they can not only get through, but rely on each other during. The THJ Experience does that by literally giving participants an experience of everything in their lives up to this point being something that has been given them — not just the “good” things, but everything. Maybe some things are easier to bear than others, but those things are no more gifts than the things that are a bear … to bear. Everything is a gift.
This is not a view specific to any one religion by any means. Rather, in the THJ Experience, you’re free to bring whatever belief you have. Maybe you believe that there is a Giver who has your ultimate best interests at heart. Maybe you believe that an impersonal universe provides. Or maybe you just believe that you’re standing at the door with a package in your hands; the UPS, or Fed Ex, or postal representative is nowhere to be seen; and there’s no return address (and certainly no returns).
And now the package is yours.
It’s still a gift.
Lindsay Braman’s example can open your mind about what sorts of both joy and utility you can create, simply by letting your own gifts out of the closet and using them in your work, in recognizing that, if a therapist/doodler can connect two passions, so can you.
When you’re in pain, it’s hard to think of anything else. But even in the midst of being laid up with a bad back or during that excruciating moment after surgery when you realize that, no, it isn’t that the operation was a breeze, it’s just that you had really good painkillers, there are almost always parts of you that do feel well: they’re just a bit harder to access. Even when everything is going smoothly.
What the lorgnette is to glasses, THE HUMAN JOURNEY is to listening. Not only do we help families listen to each other at a moments of intense change due to serious illness, end of life, bereavement, or other major life transition, but we help family members perceive that they are being heard.
We’re ready for ya. All handy in its front pocket, THE HUMAN JOURNEY® has all the ways to meet family members right where they are. We have a way to meet people who don’t want to talk about feelings. We have a way to meet people who would rather express something silently, with a facial expression, a gesture, or a stance, than with telling or sharing.
So, Who’s the Father?” isn’t exactly what a person who’s expecting wants to hear. It can feel like an accusation, like an invasion of privacy, or like a completely irrelevant question, depending on one’s method of conception, key relationships, or plan for childrearing. Even in days when there were fewer methods for conceiving a child or for avenues for getting one to adulthood, Emily Post might have advised just to stick with a hearty congratulations.