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Over the years, as a practicing physician, I have dealt with the effects of illness, death, dying, and the aging process through my patients. However, in those times, I have been the person supporting and providing care, encouragement, and condolence to those I have cared for. However, recently, I have had to deal with a loss of my own, and be faced with my own humanity and need for support, love, and attention.
As people who care for others (whether you are a physician, educator, coach, or caregiver of another) it can be challenging for us to sit with (and even allow for) our own humanity. While we deal with the same type of daily challenges (relationship problems, divorce, financial strain, challenges with our children and aging parents) as the people we support, we sometimes forget that we are not beyond these physical and emotional ups and downs that we see in our clients. As people who care for others, we must face that WE ARE HUMAN TOO!
I was recently having a conversation with my Auntie, and I shared with her this very sentiment. I said to her, "you are a rock and a support for everyone, and sometimes when we are the ones giving support, who are the people supporting us?" She chuckled and as I heard her chuckle of recognition, I was also convicted with my own words. In the wake of my own grief, I realized that I too had been busying myself (and my mind) in order to avoid the grief that would come with stillness.
As black women, we are conditioned to push on when we are struggling. We are conditioned to care for others before we care for ourselves. We are taught and modeled that slowing down to care for ourselves is unacceptable. It is a program that crosses generations. It comes from a time when our women had no choice but to focus on pushing on. It comes from a time when feelings were dangerous, and our humanity was held in front of our faces every moment. This generational programming has not only made us resilient over the generations, but it has also kept us alive. But now, alive at what cost.
It's time to reprogram
Over the last week, I have intentionally opened myself up to receiving... selectively sharing with safe friends and communities what I was dealing with. Allowing myself to pull back and compassionately set boundaries to allow myself the space to do the human thing... and grieve the loss of my sister. It is a practice of UN- learning isolation, re-programming allowing, and receiving. When we show up for ourselves, we can more effectively show up for the people we love, and others in our circles of influence. Retraining these old patterns, however, is not easy when one has been conditioned in the ways of being "the one" to take care of everyone else for so long. It takes intentionality, a willingness to let go of control and lean on others, and finding the people and places you feel safe to lean on and be cared for. Healing our past and learning new tools helps us to build our discernment and trust muscles so that it feels easier to lean and be supported when those times come. I am grateful to have the training I have as a Master NLP Practitioner and trainer that helps me to move through these extremely challenging times of grief with compassion, awareness, and acceptance of my own humanity, and the knowledge that I am not alone.
Learn the new skills to un-learn old programs that no longer serve you. Learn more about our Mind ReMapping NLP Certification, Coaching, and Time Line Therapy® Training. Click www.mindremappingacademy.com to learn more and schedule a free discovery call today.
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