I am continually reminded that my greatest teachers don’t arrive in the forms I expect.
I am blessed to be a psychiatrist. I believe that through all of life’s twists and turns, all roads were leading me to this place, to this career. In the daily practice of being with my patients in a meaningful way, I come face to face with my teachers. I firmly believe that each and every patient comes to me for a reason, a specificity that neither of us may come to understand until minutes, days, or years after we leave one another. My patients are regular models of courage, wisdom, compassion, persistence, grace, amongst so many other things.
We come to a sacred space, my office, and our job is to meet each other fully with open minds, hearts, and spirits. Without assumption or judgment. We are here to listen deeply, profoundly. To ask questions together, and seek answers together, with compassion. With love.
This type of coming together feels rare in life these days, especially in routine life outside of the office. How often do we truly allow ourselves to open to another being’s presence? How often do we surrender fully to the experiences of our lives, small and big, and really be with these experiences in a mindful way? How often are we gently reminding ourselves to not only feel our feet on the ground, but actually occupy our feet, be our feet?
As a psychiatrist, I am blessed to be a compassionate partner to my patients during some of the most challenging times of their lives. Their allowing me permission to do so takes vulnerability. But this coming together also serves as an hourly lesson for me: to be with all of the people in my life, all of my experiences, with the same quality of vulnerability and presence.
To open myself to the lessons of each and every individual and experience, inside of my office, and out.