Aunt Baby and Alvin Wesley

Aunt Baby and Alvin Wesley
Reasons I Smile...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Own Your Role

Don't Take the Weight of the World On

This life lesson is one of those kinds that "is easier said than done". Nevertheless, we really need to try to honor this one. Otherwise, it can be quite maddening.

For years, you see, I suffered with the "guilt of a survivor". To be redundant, this is actually coined "survivor's guilt".  I survived "six" gunshot wounds, and an innocent woman died after "one fatal" shot to the head.

Why?  How?  So many other detailed questions  and none can actually be answered. I had so many that to relay them here, I'm afraid your head would actually spin.  All in all, it took me many years and much soul searching to realize that I never pulled the trigger. I never killed anyone. For years, though, it sure felt as though I had.

Although I am generally open about my experiences if it is for the healing or education of others, I am extremely confidential when others share examples~~ both personally and professionally. This was strongly reinforced by my Mother and professionally by the ethics and confidentiality involved in the field of Nursing.

In almost 30 years of adult experience and practice, the theme of universality, despite gender, culture, age and other socioeconomic factors can be quite remarkable. I find this to be especially true in the tendency we have to want to "take ownership for everything".

  • One of my clients, was newly diagnosed with diabetes. He had been watching his diet, had joined a fitness center,  and had already been taking oral hypoglycemics, diabetes medications, for a couple years. However, he was still told at his last physical that he had to start taking insulin and monitoring his blood sugar daily with a glucometer.  "What have I done wrong?"  In actuality, the client has and continues to do everything right; yet, there is a strong family history of diabetes. With the same attention to good health practices and the addition of insulin, he has "owned his role" and is doing very well.

  • One of my friends told me that she was "let go" from a position where she had established a beautiful rapport with a young boy with a learning disability.  This was something no one else had been able to do. The reason, in all honesty, boiled down to maternal threat. Yet the given reason was totally unrelated. In the end, my friend is bereft; and the young boy misses the support.  "What have I done wrong?" Honestly, the reason given, if pursued, was discriminatory. My friend has, thankfully, moved on to other work. She sadly owned her role, which was caring for her charge. This is one of many instances, with different circumstances, where employers treat their employees in a most deplorable manner. At times, the person is unjustly terminated in the end. Could this be, in part, due to our tumultuous ecomomic times?
No matter how long or how difficult the task, we need to tease out our accountability for and the amount of control we have in coping with these heart-wrenching situations. All the while, we need to remember to own our role and to allow others to own theirs.

"You are a child of the Universe, no less than the moon and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should."  (Max Erhrmann)

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