Louise Stanger is a speaker, educator, licensed clinician, social worker, certified daring way facilitator and interventionist who uses an invitational intervention approach to work with complicated mental health, substance abuse, chronic pain and process addiction clients.
One of my favorite sayings that the indomitable David Zint, a motivational coach and Soul Cycle instructor says is: “we repeat what we do not repair.”
Such was the case I recently experienced. Sometimes you want something so badly that you err. I wanted so badly to be a part of something that I was graciously allowed to rejoin a group that in my heart I know is made up of lovely wonderful folks and that I ultimately did not fit in. Nothing bad, nothing awful, I just wanted to be a part of this group as a free agent. However, I can never match up to their rules or regulations. I so wanted to belong I went against my instinctive nature and did anyway.
Things went swimmingly well for a while till one day I knowingly with full responsibility broke the rules and violated confidentiality of the group. I thought long and hard about my action which I took as one of advocacy. As a former social work lecturer and social worker, I was taught that sometimes if the rules or policies seem extreme and violate your own values of doing good then you must advocate for what is right. We even ask students to write and extrapolate on how a policy may help or harm. In a moment of advocacy I violated group rules norms. I was wrong in doing that and offended many – for that I make amends.
As a social worker who values “to do no harm” the tack the group was headed – perhaps I was ill informed about – was besmirching an entity that did not deserve besmirching. And so rightly I was let go from the group. I am responsible for my actions and make amends to those I offended.
That being said, I trust there are no outstanding grudges. Recently I read an outstanding New York Times article on Grudges ( Jolie Kerr Jan 2, 2019), which gives the reader a synopsis of How to Hold a Grudge by Ms. Hannah.
The writing is prolific, helpful and in line with 12-Step work:
Will I repeat what I don’t repair? My intent is I will not. I will pause and reflect and seriously consider what my values are and how they match up with whatever groups I am in. I will be true to myself and to my profession.
To the group I wish they soar to the highest heights and continue doing the good work they do. I hold them in high regard and know they do a good job.
As I enter 2019, I am reminded how powerful the Serenity Prayer is as a guide for all of us:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
To learn more about Louise Stanger and her interventions and other resources, visit her website.