Thursday, October 22, 2009

Practitioner Renewal

Yesterday I attended a session called "When Life Bites" presented by Dr David Kuhl of the Center for Practitioner Renewal. It was a workshop that addressed the pain that providers carry as they care for the suffering.

We created a bunch of time lines and dated our deaths to be 6 months from now. We analyzed what we had accomplished and what we would like to accomplish. We thought about people who have left and are leaving legacies to us and what kind of legacy we want to leave. It was sobering, to say the least.

We also explored some of our pasts. It was interesting to see how our coping skills from our young years transfer into the workplace. Nobody comes to work as a blank slate. All kinds of things can hinder our ability to work as a team. It's so hard to remember that whole people come to work and that people aren't their jobs. We need to be gentle and gracious with each other.

We spent some time processing past hurts as well. I've done a lot of that in my life. To some extent it's healthy but I never want to be stuck in the past again. It was good to do a brief visit though. I think I've mostly dealt with my past hurts, including the Big Hurt and am constantly thankful for my time at Homewood to help me with that.

Life is so fragile. We can cause so much grief or so much blessing for people in our lives. Relationships is where it's at. It doesn't matter what the house is like. It doesn't matter how much money I make. It doesn't matter how fit I am or how much I weigh. So much of life that seems like a big deal really doesn't matter.

The truth is, I nit-pick. I make big deals about things that don't matter. I argue with my husband about trivial things. I forget to show appreciation to the people that I love. I lose sight of what's important in the din of every day life. I search for my own meaning and happiness as if it's something that can be found, when in actuality life is an opportunity to create meaning for myself. The best gift I can give anyone is myself. Stuff is just so unimportant.

May I constantly live like I am dying.


Anonymous said...


Ms. Caddywumpus said...

Amen, sister.

Great post, and I'm so glad you had the opportunity to have this experience.

What matters is that life is fulfilling, not full(of stuff, unrealistic expectations, etc.), and that we are kind, patient and generous with each other. All the other stuff is just a distraction.

(And I say that like I have it all figured out. I sure don't, so be sure to give yourself a break too - we're all a work in progress.)

K,W,G and ? said...

my favourite line:
the best gift i can give anyone is myself
so very true

Brenda Funk said...

Makes me wish I could have been there too. Sounds like a really great seminar for anyone, never mind continuing education for nurses etc. -- we all need to be reminded about the things that are really important in the end. Love MOM

Linda said...

You are a wise woman.