What is it that hold me back? What keeps me from being all that is within me? It is a funny question for me to ask, given the work I am doing to help others finds their way through this briar patch. I know, deep inside, that this answer is within, but as I sit here with this question, my mind provides me all sorts of reasons why I cannot step into that place, and as I look at these reasons, they all circle around fear, the fear of rejection.
Sometimes Medicine wants more than you can give, and there are many times in the past when I’ve given Medicine everything I had and a little bit more. These days, I give medicine what it deserves and nothing more. I don’t spend myself into debt for Medicine, I don’t empty my emotional banks to make sure that Medicine is full, I do what I can and when I get to the end of what I have to give Medicine, I stop.
I did not need help. I could do it myself. I never asked, and anyone who worked with me for any length of time quickly understood that they did not need to ask either. This was my modus operandi. This was how I unconsciously organized my life, and it was no more in my conscious awareness than the steps needed to ride a bike, or tie my shoes, chew gum while walking, it just happened in the background all day long, completely unknown to me for many, many years.
It was an ordinary evening, we had enjoyed a lovely supper, and were engaged in the after-dinner discussion of the day. There was nothing to foreshadow the bomb that was coming my way… ‘you know’ said Nancy, ‘you left Texas to come someplace new…. And to do something different than you were doing in Texas… but it looks to me like you have recreated that life on PEI….’ She was right, and it had not even taken two years. I had come with the dream of finally setting boundaries between my work and the rest of my life, and finding balance between the two. I had walked away from the busy academic career to restart my medical practice and ‘get it right’ this time. But here I was, once again doing what I had always done…. Filling my life so completely that there was no room for all of it and certainly no room for anything else, medicine had once again taken over.
One of the many wonderful things about moving to a place that you were completely unfamiliar with is how it points out to you, behaviors and patterns of thought that may not be serving you well. In 2007, Nancy and I discovered that our thoughts, values, beliefs, and ideas really did not resonate with the majority of the population where we were living. This is neither good, nor bad, it simply was something we had noticed.