Physician burnout is all the buzz in hospitals these days. With rates of physician suicide, addiction, depression, divorce, and early death rising uncontrollably, and with physician drop out rates peaking, hospital administrations know that something has to change—or we’ll wind up with no doctors, and with no doctors, there’s no business. Sadly, that’s what it seems to take to get the attention of hospital administrators these days. The well-being of doctors doesn’t seem to matter so much. It’s dollars and cents that drive the system, and if there are no doctors, the business of health care falls apart.
Dearest Doctors, Nurses, Midwives, Therapists, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Energy Healers, Acupuncturists, Caregivers, and Coaches,
I know how much you care. I know you are an empath who feels the suffering in others and devotes your life to alleviating it. I know you feel the pain of others as an ache in your own heart, and as a light worker, you long to bring love, comfort, and peace into the hurting hearts and bodies of those you serve. I know you feel called to do this the way priests are called to the priesthood, as a spiritual calling and a Divine mission. I know you are grateful for the impact you have on those in need. I know it fulfills a deep longing to feel like you’re the hands of the Divine, serving love as only you can. I know you need to be needed, and it gives your life purpose. I am so grateful for your service. Thank you for how much you give.
We all know medicine is in crisis, and so are those of us who serve the sick and injured. Astronomical numbers of health care providers, especially physicians, suffer from abusive medical training, neglect of self care, unmet physical and emotional needs, compassion fatigue, burnout, chronic illness, addiction, depression, anxiety, broken relationships, loneliness, and PTSD from the traumas we experience without proper emotional and spiritual integration.
As I shared with you yesterday, my beloved mother was just diagnosed with a rare and aggressive kind of leukemia. (If you missed it, you can read about our shock and our magic stories here.) When life throws you a curveball, advice is often the last thing you need. You need permission to be emotional. You need room to be with what has happened. You need . . . whatever YOU need. It’s so individual. That said, I thought I’d share with you some of the things that help me when life throws me curveballs.
We’ve all seen this famous image. Is it two white faces looking at each other? Or is it a black vase? See how you have to shift your lens to see one or the other? It’s almost impossible to see both at the same time, isn’t it? But if you pull back far enough, you can almost see that both are true at the same time. It’s two white faces, and it’s a black vase. You can’t quite see them both at the same time. You can flip the lens of your perception back and forth faster and faster until they almost collapse into both at once. But you can’t quite do it.. When you focus on one perspective, it’s hard not to lose the other. Such is the mystery and wonder of holding a paradox.