November 23, 2017

Working in the medical field grants us the window to people’s lives. It is a privileged position. We see people at their most vulnerable– when they are in pain; when they are scared; when they are suffering; and when they are dying. Whilst helping people deal with their physical challenges, we often become sounding boards for their emotional troubles also. Whilst the physical complaints are challenging, the emotional, psychological and spiritual crises are even more so.

Every day, doctors and even surgeons, listen to the challenges that their patients are going through. Relationship conflicts, marriage breakdowns, depression, business failures, financial turmoil, and worry about the known and unknown. I have observed that those who cope best have learned how to lean upon a support network around them. Being able to lean in to a group is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Being vulnerable takes humility and strength. It comes from an understanding that life is one of interdependence. There is no such thing as “the self-made man”. Though we have to provide our own will power, creativity, enthusiasm and knowledge, at the end of the day, we are all dependent. It takes a conscious effort to create, but it will be your tribe that will carry you in your darkest days. Sometimes we will be the carrier and at others we will be the carried.

Step back and be still. Look around you. Who is part of your tribe? Who can you lean in on in your dark hours? Who will you reach out to with a phone call or a text message saying, “have you got time for a chat”. Practice communicating your reality and stop projecting that social image of perfection. ┬áIt’s not that we should dwell on the bad and become a “glass half full pessimist”. It’s simply an understanding that everyone is facing a challenge.

Compassion maybe the most powerful medicine on the planet.

In Health and Wellness


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