I love deep conversations. Conversations with questions that fry your brain and make you stop and go.....WHAT?! Sadly the last couple of years, I do not have enough of those kinds of conversations with real living people sitting across from me, to satisfy me. There are a lot of reasons for this - one is self-isolation I was doing. The other is working alone, with a lot of dead people who do not talk for very long, and the pressure of 'having to work or else' which causes a reaction of not going out to have fun or meet new people.
This week I had one of those deep conversations for almost three hours and it totally shifted my reality. I met with a Dutch doctor to discuss WWII research (his project) and caregiving and hospice (things I am working on and experiencing for personal and professional). Through a very open, honest, "I'm gonna ask you possibly uncomfortable questions" energy conversation he asked a question that fried me.
What do you consider success as a caregiver?...
I spent the weekend in Son, Netherlands for the 74th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden, specifically for the 101st Airborne commemorations and living history. This was my second time experiencing this event.
This year I spent a lot of time talking to Dutch people about the choices their families made during WWII. In some cases, the family members fought in the resistance, were taken as forced laborers to Germany, or fought to survive the hunger winter of 1945.
In other cases, family members chose to join the German ranks and were sent to the Eastern Front. There has been a stigma around those who chose to fight for the Germans, that affects families even today. Even when those who fought are long dead.
My questions to you are....
Should we be bringing these family secrets and stories out of the darkness and into the light?
How much will that change the stigma attached to this part of history?
Can we stand back and observe the choices made and not judge?
Can we acknowledge what...
I’ve been having many conversations with people about FAMILY. CHOICE. GRATITUDE. JUDGMENT. NEGATIVITY. CHANGE. WAR. LIFE. DEATH.
Whenever I have posed some questions, usually in a short video, about family choice and what would it take to stop judging it all, the response I get on the posts and through messages is often filled with negativity. As if there is no possibility to see anything positive in the “bad” or “wrong” or “terrible” choices our family members made. Yet, what if there is something in there to be grateful for?
Add to this the tangled web of someone saying, “Well my grandpa did THIS and I know how it traumatized THAT person and THAT person so why should I not judge?”
First, we do not know the 100 choices and experiences that led up to grandpa making a choice that did some damage or whatever it caused. Second, we do not know the 100 choices, experiences, baggage, etc. carried by the people his choice hurt. We were...
I’ve been moving through some interesting things the last few years and they seem to be culminating this year. New choices, new paths, new relationships, and a change in my business. Hear my thoughts on all this as I sit in Naarden-Vesting, Netherlands, and several questions for you to ask yourself about your life and what else is possible.
© 2018 Jennifer Holik