Posts Tagged ‘retreat’

As we watched the news we saw such devastation as the oil spilled out into our earth’s ocean. The long-term results are still unknown. It is so easy to move to feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, anger, and sadness.

In circumstances such as this, when something is happening that I have no control over, I have learned to quickly start asking myself, “What do I have control over?” I have control over how much oil I use in my life. I can choose to minimize my driving. I can choose to not drink water from plastic bottles. (It has been estimated that one plastic bottle uses ½ a bottle of oil for the production, transportation, and disposal.) Even when hosting large groups at my retreat center, I have a full container of filtered water and use reusable glasses. I carry my stainless steel water bottle with me everywhere I go. Oil production is based on demand. I can do my part to reduce my personal demand.

I use this same thought process in thinking about grief and loss. What do I have control over? Most of the time I do not have control over a loss in my life. Yet, I do have control over how I think about it. I do have control over my actions around it.

I can mentally “wash away” that which doesn’t improve the situation and focus on what I can do to make a difference. Hence, the creation of what I call SOAP. What is the Situation? What are my Options? What is my Action Plan?

I had no control over my mom having Alzheimers. What were my options? To accept the reality of it. To be realistic in what to expect from her. To know she would be erratic, sometimes able to relate and sometimes not. To accept that sometimes she knew my name and sometimes not. To never take things she said or did personally.

What was my Action Plan? To keep her in an environment where she was physically safe. To monitor her care. To be physically and emotionally present for her as much as I could, while also taking care of myself. To love her!

I invite you to look at all possible ways to apply SOAP to all “dirty” parts of your world.

Remember: You are invited to learn and experience more, while in the renewing Caribbean retreat environment. Join us!