MORE Lessons Learned As A Chaplain

MoreLessonsLearnedChaplainLast week, I shared some lessons I learned while I was a hospital chaplain at the beginning of my career.

In this episode of the podcast, I share another six. That makes a total of ten lessons. But they only scratch the surface.  My hope is to share some of the bigger lessons that emerged during that time.

Few people spend the kind of time a chaplain gets to spend with people on the edges of life.  Medical staff don’t have the time to spend, as much as they would like to.  Most others are only in those settings in the days of a crisis.

My evening hours gave me time with patients, after the doctors and families had gone home, while the nurses were giving medical care.  I had the chance to sit with people, while they sat with the big questions of life.  I didn’t always have the answers (often didn’t), but I had the time to walk with them as they explored their journeys.

Walking with them taught me the lessons I share today.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Lessons Learned, Part 1
Meaning & Purpose
Impact
Make It Count

Thrive Principles
Immutable Laws

How To Start Fresh (in the New Year)

A fresh start to your new year.If you haven’t heard it yet, let me be the first to say, “Happy New Year!”  I doubt I made the cut, but just in case….

One of my favorite things about school, way back when, was that the semester ended.  Each semester stood by itself.  No matter how poorly the semester had gone (and there were several), it was over.  Classes ended, assignments were in, tests were over.  Nothing I could do would change it. So, I might as well turn my attention to the next semester.

It was nice to have a fresh start.

Which, by the way, is available to any of us at any time.  We can always choose a fresh start.

It won’t wipe the past away.  But we do have the option of starting where we are and moving forward.

In the moment, we have that option.

Each day, we have that option.  We get up to a new day, and can start fresh.

Every month, we can do the same, closing out the month and moving into something new.

But the new year… that is when we really feel it!

So, how do we make the New Year a Fresh Start? Let’s talk about how to do it in this episode of my podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Resolutions
Forgiving
Apologizing
Letting It Go
Thrive Principles

You Are Not THAT Story!

broken plate meme has it all wrongHave you seen this picture in your FB feed or on Twitter?  It crossed my path a number of times.

The first time I saw it, I was immediately uncomfortable.  But it took a little time for me to be clear on why.

There is a point to it:  just because you apologize doesn’t mean everything is okay.

I like that point.

But I worry about going the other way:  if someone hurts you, you are shattered.  With that, I disagree.

Not just a little.

A lot.

I firmly believe that we are all built to heal from hurts.  I firmly believe that encoded within us is the capacity to not just move forward, but to thrive, even when someone deeply wounds us.

We humans are natural story-tellers.  And we all LOVE to tell the “someone done me wrong” stories — thus, 90% of country songs!

And people do, indeed, do us wrong (and we do others wrong).

The problem is not the stories.  It is our attachment to those stories.  When we begin to define ourselves by the stories of what happened to us, we become that story.  It no longer happened TO us, it IS us.

And we get stuck.  We become defined by the story, (almost always, A story).  Then, we are limited.  We stop growing.  We stay attached to the story.

In this week’s podcast, I discuss what happens with a story, and why we can’t allow ourselves to be caught by the story.

RELATED PODCAST:

Anatomy Of An Apology: #13 ThriveNation

ThriveologyApologyHave you ever apologized, only to have it backfire on you, the other person even more angry than before?  Have you ever had someone apologize to you, but for some reason, it left you feeling more frustrated?

I’ve been there — on both sides!  And after watching countless apologies in therapy sessions (some good and some more like a politician’s “apology”), I noted some “rules” to apologies that work.  An apology that works is one that a) takes responsibility for actions, and b) leads to reconciliation.

Would you like to know the 4 rules to an effective apology?  I cover it in this week’s Thriveology Podcast, the podcast for thrivers.

Take a listen and let me know in the comments area below, what rules did I miss?