Tag Archive for: pain

True North Weekly Waypoints

Friday Waypoints – 10/05/18


As I explained in a previous blog, Waypoints are significant events or moments from my past week that help me stay oriented as to where I am and where I’m going.

Lessons from My Clients: Let your Pain (Misery) Guide You

I was speaking with a foster parent this past week. She was very frustrated about the events of this past month. She and her husband were fostering a 15-year old boy who had been very challenging.

Listening to her, my heart went out to these foster parents, Tom and Jenny (not their real names). They love serving others and this love has motivated them to work with foster kids.

But in Jenny’s voice, I could hear her misery. She was in pain. I asked her if there were things that she was doing in the community that brought her joy and fulfillment. She responded that they were involved in a young couple’s class in their church and that this had been very fulfilling. I then responded that her pain and misery were indicators that “maybe, just maybe” fostering teenagers is not a good fit for her and her husband. I heard a sigh and then she said, “Mark, thank you for bringing this up. We’ve wondered about this but felt bad about considering getting out of fostering.”

I responded, “Jenny, let your pain, guide you. Maybe it’s telling you that fostering teenagers isn’t a good fit for you and Tom.”

The lesson I learned from these dear people is to let my pain and misery guide me. A professor of mine, while in graduate school, provided this guidance, “Never take away a person’s misery, it will serve as a motivation for change.”

Pain and misery are my change agents, and I will let them guide me to grow and to consider new adventures in years to come. Thank you Tom and Jenny.

Meaningful Moment: Hiking the Jeff Forest

There is a Gem in this city and it’s called, The Jefferson Memorial Forest. 6500 acres. Green. Hilly. Beautiful. Within that 6500 acres is a very beautiful place: The Horine Cemetery. I often take new hikers out there and hiked out there this past week. I encourage you to do the same as I recently reviewed Forest Therapy, and clearly hiking out to places like this was the kind of thing that Sarah Ivens was recommending. Study the history of this Cemetery and of the people that donated this land for our use and enjoyment. Very inspiring!

Book I’m Reading This week

“iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood” –Jean M. Twenge Ph.D.

If you have pre-teens or teenagers in your home or work with them, you’ll want to read this book. “Adolescence,” she writes, “is now an extension of childhood rather than the beginning of adulthood.” I’ll be giving a full book review soon, but an excellent recourse for parents.