Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blogging, Exhaustion, Anonymity, and the Four Agreements.

Today after clinical skills lab, I felt deflated, defeated and just drained.

Part of it is due to last week's drama, and drama is something I've been cutting out of my life, but part of it is just sheer exhaustion.

One of the MEPNs, on our way out, took me aside and thanked me for my post on week 8.
"I felt so exhausted and strained, and I was wondering if it was just me, but when I read what you wrote I felt like, ok, I'm still here. I can keep going."

Awesome. I nearly cried, except I've cried so much since Thursday last that I couldn't muster the tears. I should have hugged her but all I could think about was getting home to sleep.

In any case, you know who you are, and thank you so much for making me feel like I have a purpose, because if I help one MEPN, I've done my job in blogging. Otherwise I feel that "big brother" is reading this stuff and judging/grading me on whatever I write, and I tend to stifle myself. You, MEPNs, who are reading this make me brave. Thank you.

That's the problem we who blog face: simultaneous "fame" without anonymity. NurseSF was smart in keeping herself hidden for a while; there are days I wish I had that freedom. I wonder if it would be smarter to have kept myself quiet. I'm not so good at that, but hey, I deal with whatever comes. It's the river guide in me.

Sleep well - I will be. And remember, no matter what, revert to the four agreements, which I will review:

1) Be IMPECCABLE with your word.

Let that sink in. Words have power. Language structures consciousness. No matter what you say, it has the ability to echo in someone's head for years.
And that means being careful about what I say. And that means not modeling the language that was thrown at me, recently. Ever.

"Words are like arrows, once you let them go, you can't get them back."

2) Don't take anything personally.

Often, when we are attacked on a personal level, it's not who we are or what we have done, it's the perception, it's *that* person's interpretation of what we've done. Obviously if we've truly done something wrong, we need to be accountable first and apologetic second. A good apology does not start "I'm sorry, but...", a good apology is simply a heartfelt, "I'm very sorry" (not a stoic one). So, my point is when people speak harsh words at you, listen to what's being said and glean from it what may help you in the future; however, don't take it personally. Let it be the energy that it is. We have the choice to take on negative energy or to emulate positive.
I choose the latter. I choose the positive. I personally detest drama, I avoid negativity, I avoid deception and lying, and I choose not to take anything personally, even if someone else does. Although I'm having a somatic, viscerally negative reaction to the world over the past week- I am consciously and constantly redirecting to the positive, because that is my choice. It is better for me.
We are capable of our own consciousness. Remember this.

3) Don't make assumptions.

People will generally tell you what they need from you. I wish that in the heat of the moment that people would take this agreement more to heart, but I am not everyone else, and I can only speak for me. The world runs on assumptions, yet I still feel that I could make an "ass" out of "you" and "me". Heh.

I realize how many people have read/do read this blog, and I am very conscious about keeping things harmonious. I like harmony. I like being friendly and happy with people.
MEPN wasn't gonna be all sunshine, rainbows and lollipops, I knew that. Thank goodness for the ruby slippers, the professors we have. And thank goodness for my classmates.

4) Always do your best.

This agreement is one I truly practice, and I can say that with complete integrity. Last week a nurse on our floor who I wasn't working with/hadn't worked with directly asked if I was going to apply for a job next year because I had been so incredibly helpful (made sure someone who fell multiple times in a night had emotional support and physical support the next day- got her laughing and up out of bed safely, made sure she didn't fall). I felt so honored by that question, and at the same time, totally humble, because I didn't do anything different from what my clinical expectations were. That question was a bright light in my day. I didn't even get to share that with anyone else because other stuff was happening that wasn't so bright. In any case, it was a reminder that my best is sometimes seen and heard, and for that I am humbly thankful.

I gave everything that day.
I give everything every day.
I am always giving and doing my best.

I like adding a "fifth agreement": Laugh at yourself.
When we stop being able to laugh at ourselves, we stop growing.

In any case, life goes on, and it's week 9. The faculty in this program continue to be awesome- our actual professors are incredible on so many levels, and they have been sources of sanity for me and many other students. Encouraging, responsive, and warm are characteristics I would pick to attribute to them.
My fellow MEPNs are amazing. This class is very unified, and we've been helping each other out tremendously - someone posted notes for Pharmacology that were great, some of us have been outlining chapters of reading - we were told yesterday by one of my favorite professors that this class is "very collegial." Hell yeah.

I leave you with the four agreements. I'm mulling them over, and have been, which transitioned nicely into the lectures on spiritual care and end-of-life care we just had.

Be impeccable with your word.
Don't take anything personally.
Don't make assumptions.
Always do your best.

1 comment:

Sumi said...

I love that you quote the Four Agreements. I think of them all* the time! I'm currently planning some changes to my blog and working on transitioning it to a non-anonymous one... I just have to get off my butt to do it. Congratulations for finishing the 1st quarter!