Thinking Out Loud: Do you agree...?

John T. Catrett III
ONHL Hospice Chaplain

Do you agree with Thomas Edison's statement? "Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration." Is this a good formula for grief relief success? "If you dream of something worth doing and then simply go to work on it and don't think anything of personalities, or emotional conflicts, or of money, or of family distractions; it is amazing how quickly you get through those 5,000 steps." ~ Edwin Land

When it boils down to how I can stop grieving and start healing there is a clear path to follow. Sometimes looking at the path to follow it may appear to be 5,000 steps. Your healing vision and necessary actions may collide. "Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world." ~ Joel A. Barker

Changing your grieving world requires both a vision and an action. A vision - a dream is good. Action and effort are important. However, a vision without action is but a dream. Furthermore, an action without a vision is only taking up time. Yet, having a vision with action can positively change your grief healing circumstance. So, what actions should your vision include to stop grieving and start healing and accompany you on your healing path?

1st- LIVE IN THE PRESENT! "There is only one time that is important - NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power." ~ Leo Tolstoy You know that the past is only useful to learn from mistakes, and the future is an important dream. However, the presence is the period of time when you can concentrate your efforts with power. NOW is the period of time that screams out to you. Now should direct what healing actions to take. "Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." ~ The Buddha The Apostle Paul said, "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead." ~ Philippians 3: 13b As you experience unique and personal grief and loss, you can only find peace by embracing actions that will generate hope and possibilities to heal and find peace and joy.

2nd - HAVE EXPECTATIONS! "Mostly, it is human to dislike surprises - often with great intensity. Be open to new ways; sometimes newness just knocks on our door; welcome it." ~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie A grief and loss circumstance can limit your vision of so many possibilities available. Yet, an understanding that a hope beyond your grief and loss can highlight important healing expectations. New discoveries of the many opportunities can expand your possibilities to find new happiness and hope. Do you want to overcome your present grief and loss circumstance? Do you want to find more happiness, hope and peace? If you can't have expectations you can't move from your current position. Will you raise your expectations?

3rd - Find BALANCE IN ALL THINGS! The importance of finding balance is clearly highlighted by two quotes by Mary Anne Radmacher: "Find your balance and stand with it. Find your song and sing it out loud. Find your cadence and let it appear like a dance. Find the questions that only you know how to ask and the answers that you are content to not know." ~ Mary Anne Radmacher Finding balance completely because of the severity of your unique grief circumstance may only partially be reached. Finding your song to sing, your cadence to follow, and the questions to ask yourself and being content with your circumstance is without question a difficult balancing action. However, you can give yourself permission to ask yourself to accept your balance possibilities. "Balance happens when I invite it to happen with my intentional actions and my guided perspective." ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

Can you balance your activity with simplicity and persistence? Will you? Can you realize the statement of Lao Tzu has relevance in finding balance in your life? "He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough." Can you believe 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration equals grief relief success?

John T. Catrett III is chaplain for ONHL Hospice. He can be reached at (918) 352-3080 or