This has been a special morning. I have traditionally not included other people’s stories into my blog posts. Today, however, I tearfully share the following thoughts.
From a young person using My Program in a work setting. “You have been a great boss and teacher… Thank you so much for showing me how much potential I have and how many things I have going for me.… It was an honor meeting you. Have a great life. Thanks.” Each one of their contracts was task oriented and related to accomplishing the daily tasks.
Another story, the telephone rang and I listened. The voice on the other end was a person who had decided that life was not worth living. When he first contacted me I talked with him for quite some time mostly listening to the woes and frustrations he was facing. It is now four years later, he called and just asked, “how are you doing?” He made no mention of his desire to end his own life, rather, he talked about how he discovered a way to find meaning in the little things of life. He told me of the countless tasks that now come to him each day. He laughed, and said, “I have learned to take each day, one step at a time.” He had internalized life not as a program but as a way to live. He learned how to take care of himself and to invest in other people as well.
I woke up early this morning pondering the events of last week. I was deeply touched by the sincerity of an individual who had decided that truth was acceptable. This morning this person shared with me yet another contract. The contracting process will be a 21 day event. The contract will be done each weekday morning. The weekend will be used to relax. During the week each contract will be broken down into a series of steps. The focus will be on a primary task, the steps will be used to process and think through the primary task. This person named some really heavy stuff to deal with in their life. This morning however, there was laughter in the contract words. It seemed that people at work would place candy on the desk and this candy was easily accessible. Candy was viewed as something that needed to be addressed. This was no longer about the larger issues of life. This was now about life and how to live. There was a big smile that came through the words in the contracting process. There was a discovery that life was worth having. Three years ago this person attempted to end their life. Today the contract words talk about giving that life away to others.
The purpose of My Program is not to impose a religious belief. It does however create an opportunity for some understanding of faith to be born out of a nonjudgmental position, a position of grace. In My Program each person declares this is “my program.” It is very much their own program. Each person is invited to go to this site as many times as they want. They are taking ownership for whatever decisions they are about to make. They seek out a partner to talk this through and then make the decision to fill out the form. By submitting the form they have a record they can save, print off or access by request.