There are times in life when we have no idea what to do. It is as if we are stunned. Immobilized. It may be because things are happening so quickly that we can’t keep up. Often it is because a crisis has taken over our lives. Whatever the specific cause, there are times in life when we feel lost and confused.
Few of us will go through life without experiencing such times. Even those of us who are normally resourceful and resilient can find ourselves adrift and disoriented when life events threaten to overwhelm normal coping skills.
This book is about what to do in times like this—times when we don’t know what to do.
I have been a therapist in private practice for more than twenty years, and have walked with many people through times of crisis. This professional experience is woven into this book, but the book is primarily personal rather than professional. These meditations were written after being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer and they reflect in many ways the particular challenges I faced during this experience. This is not, however, just a book about dealing with a medical crisis. These meditations are also deeply rooted in my long struggle to recover from the shame and fear I carried as a result of childhood trauma. And they are connected to the deep learning that came from working to do my part during a particularly difficult season in my marriage. And, finally, they reflect lessons-learned from the struggle to face my codependency with respect to our oldest son’s drug addiction. Each of these very different crises involved times when I didn’t know what to do, and each contributed to the hard-won but basic wisdom you will find here.
No two people are the same. No two crises are the same. So, there may be some material in this book that doesn’t match your experience. The best advice I can offer about this is a bit of basic wisdom you hear frequently in the Twelve Step community: “Take what works and leave the rest.” My hope is that some of what I have to offer here will be helpful to you as you face whatever challenges confront you at this time in your life.
May God grant you the strength, hope and wisdom you need for your journey.
And may your roots sink deeply in the soil of God’s love.