Pocket Wisdom

I was rifling through a box of papers from the days of my first few years of practice in the small town of Chemainus (1994-1998).    The beginning of learning how to care for patients and fit into the medical system.   I came across a folded up piece of paper that I recognized as one I had carried in my lab coat pocket for many of those early years…

Ode to Patient Care

If we speak with the tongues of specialists and consultants,

and have not love, we will have nothing more than the noise

of our own voices and the clanging of pet ideas.

If we develop new methods, write new curriculum,

and learn new techniques,

and if we understand all about the five stages of dying

so that we are not surprised when a patient is angry or depressed:

and yet we have not love, we are useless.

If we give up our old anxieties about talking with patients

concerning their true feeling,

but we have not love, we gain nothing.

Love never ends.

As for tumour conferences,

they will pass away;

As for workshops,

they will cease;

As for inservice training,

it will change.

For our methods are always imperfect

and our plans often don’t work out.

When I first became a helper, I thought like an idealist

and talked like an expert.

As I began to mature, I realized that I too was afraid

and the patient often taught me.

For now we see only reflections of sickness and death,

but someday we will see them face to face.

And the time will come when we will know for sure what it is like,

and we will be sorry we ever judged.

So methods, techniques, case conferences, care plans,

seminars, small group experiences, counselling-

There is all this and much more we would suggest for

gaining insight and increasing effectiveness:

But greater than all of these is love.

Dan McEver

Now posted once again where I practice daily so I can be reminded of what really matters….

True Love

I came across this quote today, and it reminded me of what true friendship and love really is.  I feel fortunate to have experienced such love in my life.
 
 

“Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.”

African song

ccFlickr shared by smig44_uk

Catching Hearts

cc Flickr shared by WolfS♡ul

I often say that when you become a parent you should just stamp the word “guilt” on your forehead and be done with it.

At the end of the day I look back and often feel regret.  I could’ve done better.  I could’ve loved more, could’ve been more present.  I lectured that boy too harshly, I didn’t respond to the request to play because I had to do dishes and pack lunches, I cut short bedtime reading because I had work to complete, I listened with only half an ear to the ‘who did what’ in the latest fight.  And that’s when I’m home.  Not to mention the guilt of missing a championship soccer game because I’m in the pharmacy…that was last week.

I read this exquisite post by Ann Voskamp, appropriately called “How to Make Any Relationship Better.”  In it she says:

Everyone is always saying only one thing: “I just want you to love me.”  But this is what I do.  I get caught up in tone and semantics, when I could just catch hearts.

Isn’t that the truth.  Adults and children alike look for the reassurance that we are loved.  Indirectly with our words and actions we say it over and over again but don’t recognize the root of it in each other.  In our impatience, our disagreements, our queries and requests of each other, the underlining current is “I need you to love me.”  But instead of recognizing the vulnerability behind our daily interactions with those we love, we focus on the minutiae, the unimportant, when really we could just catch hearts.

All I Want for Christmas…

Gratitude.  It was top of my list for Christmas this year.  To feel more grateful for the life I have, to not need more, to feel settled and ultimately at peace.  So while I sit in my quiet house, the chaos of the day having quieted down, the gifts I have asked for have arrived.

Flickr shared by Wolfsavard

The past two months I have had several close friends suffer serious health problems.  All of them went from lives busy with work, kids activities, holiday plans….  then everything in their lives suddenly came to a grinding halt.  When your health fails, that’s all that’s on the plate.  So, I am grateful for my health;  so far my life continues as is, and I wish to not take that for granted.

Working in the inner city once more this week reminded me of how grateful I am for my parents.  I am fortunate that they had no drug or alcohol addiction, no mental health issues or extreme  poverty.  They managed to make things work and keep our family functional and enriched.  It allowed me to develop and grow and have a “normal” childhood, unlike so many in our city.

I am grateful for my education.  My parents somehow instilled in us the importance of furthering our education.  It was not an option for us to learn, our only choice was what to learn about.  It continues to lead me in my career and to passing on that value to my own children.

Lastly, my gratitude falls to those who are closest to me.  There are people in my life who know the good in me and also the not so good in me….yet still choose to love me.  They are the ones who make life beautiful.  You know who you are.

Merry Christmas