I later remembered a seminar I attended a life-time ago where the presenter talked about Accepting the Invitation. He said that every day we are presented with invitations to get angry, become critical, or spout off. He went on to say we have a choice whether to accept the invitation or not. Wow, what a concept! The next time I was in the “fast lane” at the store, of course, there was someone in front of me with an abundance of items, way over his limit. But this time I thought, “I’m not going to accept that invitation to get irritated.” I spent the time watching other customers, checking the weather app on my phone, planning what to do the remainder of the afternoon, and left the store in a positive mood. It felt pretty good to have control over my emotions. I could have reacted but instead I chose to be intentional.
After years of working with people coping with grief and loss whether from a death, cancer diagnosis, broken relationship, or just life in general, I sense that many times we accept the invitation to hold onto things that don’t serve us well. It’s easy to confuse what to let go of and what to hold onto. I can choose to:
It’s comforting to know I have a choice. Sometimes I accept the invitation without thinking, but I also know I can return the invitation. I don’t have to go there. I can make a choice about how I react and who I want to be
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SUE'S GIFT BLOG
Sherry Martin is the Patient Services Director for Sue's Gift, a licensed clinical social worker with over thirty years of experience in the field of oncology social work, and author of the book, Beginning Again: Tools for the Journey through Grief: A Step-by-Step Guide for Facilitators of a Grief Support Group. Sherry lives with her husband in Woodland Park, Colorado.
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