On What Helps

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NaBloPoMo 2016, Letters to Patients, Day 22

To Patients Preparing for Uncomfortable Holidays:

Seek what helps.

What did I write recently about staying off of Facebook and minimizing my social media exchanges?  How fascinating, look what I just did—spent the last two hours on Facebook!  I also write about trying, falling down, and trying again…  So this is me both falling down (in my attempt to stay off) and trying again (to engage meaningfully).

The holidays are coming, yay!  …And, not so yay!  The conversations we have with friends and family in the next 6 weeks or so have enormous potential—for division as well as connection.  Personally, I feel optimistic.  I plan to evoke my core values of open-mindedness, empathy, and integrity.  I want to look back on the gatherings with gratitude and deeper connection.  So today I share with you all the things I have read (today—see?  I endure Facebook for your benefit! teeheehee) that have helped me.  These pieces validate, challenge, reassure, alarm, question and motivate me to Hold the Space, Stay on the Path, and Seek Love.  Please share yours, also!

A fellow physician’s acknowledgement of the humanness of bias, its potential for harm in caring for patients, and a reminder for self-awareness and –management.

Posts by Michelle at The Green Study, reminding us that internal conflict is normal in the face of world events such as ours, with concrete suggestions for actions that align with core values:  “We cannot strengthen our character unless it is tested. We cannot defend our freedoms unless they are threatened. We cannot become better writers or artists or humans unless we have obstacles to overcome.”

An article from The Guardian that points me to reputable sources of alternate points of view, so I may understand better.

A call out from the Wall Street Journal—to help me own my shit before I call out others on theirs.

A gentle message from fellow blogger John Pavlovitz: “Friend, however you choose to navigate these holidays, know that it’s the right way. Give yourself permission to pretend or confront or abstain as you need to, and forgive yourself later if you decide you chose poorly. You’re probably going to get it wrong or at least feel like you did.

“But remember too, to save a little of that mercy for those who sit across the table from you or those who choose not to. They’ll be doing the best they can too.”

And finally, the Prayer of Maimonides, the twelfth century physician and philosopher:

prayer-of-maimonides

These holidays, wish me persistence and ‘stubborn gladness,’ as Liz Gilbert calls it.  I wish you all the same!

6 thoughts on “On What Helps

  1. Love the Prayer of Maimonides…hadn’t encountered it before. I’ll be checking out the other links…plan to have plenty of time the next 5 days for relaxing (aka, reading & writing!).

    You’re 73% of way thru your November writing goal!!! Just about a week left! I bet you’re glad November only hath 30! 🙂 I’ll try to stop by more frequently this weekend.

    Wishing you and your lovely family a fabulous Thanksgiving and long weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Holy cow, you are right, my math-y friend! Wooo hoooooooooo!! And this has been ‘way more fun than the last two daily challenges…
      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well–and may you find ample time for the words these five days! 😀 I will be attempting to clear out the basement–we cleared out the cave for the workout space; now we need to clear out and reclaim the living space!! I will feel AWESOME when it’s done! 😀 Gotta remember to take before and after photos… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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