A Time for grief

In our professional training, many of us were taught that objectivity is essential to clinical effectiveness. Emotions, especially fear, sadness, shame, doubt, and guilt, are assumed to have no place in the practice of professional medicine -- they cloud our judgments and bias our assessments. But, what if this is not the whole story? What if allowing and acknowledging our emotions actually makes us a more skilled clinician? 

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Consider the following quote by physician Christiane Northrup: 

We’ve been taught that there is no time. We’ve been taught that there is no time for our own grief, for our own pain. We’re taught to rush to the next bedside. But what happens to all of this stored up grief, all of this stored up pain of the tears that have not been shed? It doesn’t go away. It stays with us. Allow yourself this moment of being present with what is. Take yourself into your own heart. You get to choose how much you allow yourself to feel. Give yourself this moment. You’ve touched into your heart. You know that there’s more in there.  For now, it’s enough. Feeling makes you a much more effective healer. It does not detract from your ability, it adds to your effectiveness. Imagine that you’re now surrounded by light, and by the courage to move back into your day, with full access to all of who you are, everything intact. Know that you can tap into the wisdom of your heart at any moment. It’s always there waiting for you. It’s the key to making you a better and more powerful healer.

 

For reflection alone or together: 

Where do you feel fear, or sadness, or shame, or doubt in your body? 

The next time you notice an emotion arise in your body try breathing with it and notice what happens next. 

Did the emotion get stronger? 

As you stayed with the emotion, did its intensity change? 

Next week: Hard wiring happiness