This week I got a lovely note from a former student. We have kept in touch - what a special lady, a born nurse. I had the pleasure of teaching her three different subjects as she pursued and achieved her B.S.N. Her heart is that of a Holistic nurse.
I told her I intended to share part of her note in this week's post, along with my answer. I suspect some of you may be able to relate - perhaps not to the specifics but to her general feelings. I know her note struck a chord with me.
I'm trying to find peace. Oh Maria, I really need a revelation of what I should be doing. It seems like I can't find my place in the nursing world. I left my former job because my training was a horrible experience ( the trainer was disgruntled and cursed out the unit secretary. The nursing assistant was rude to me because I was wearing lipstick. My first week, I broke up a fight between 2 unit secretaries). The business manager wants me to return if my new job doesn't work out.
I feel so unfulfilled and no passion for my current job. I am grateful that I am even considered for so many positions but I feel so off course. I've been here for 8 months and I'm not settled yet: (I really don't know what
specialty of nursing is for me.)
I seem to have lost some of my confidence behind all of this. I am aware that I'm off balance and I'm not doing anything that I love or even being creative. I know it takes time to grow roots but this doesn't feel good.
I know what I need to do for my well being, but the energy is lost in translation to perform it.
Have you ever gone through this? I know that pain births new life .... I'm trying to find peace in the meantime.
The themes in this note indeed felt familiar to me.
Yes, I have gone through times in my life, in my career, when I have questioned my place - when I have wondered what I was doing in this particular environment. At times, the people I worked with were toxic. Sometimes I didn't share the same philosophy or work ethic with my supervisors. At one time I lost much of my confidence, having been out of active duty for several years due to a serious assault.
I know beyond a doubt that my heart always knows what is 'not right' for me. I have learned to listen to my instincts and to trust the power of knowing what I want and what is best for me. And simultaneously, this is when I get centered, when I find my sense of inner peace and purpose.
Through my life 'the mirror' has always held a significance for me. It's always been important for me to be able to 'look myself in the mirror' after a day and know I'd done the best job I could. Over the years, I have practiced many conversations - both with myself and those I needed to have with others- in front of my mirror. I even 'gave practice presentations' when I was a new instructor developing my self confidence.
In Gestalt training, Mariah Fenton Gladis teaches about the Awareness and Contact Cycle.
As I absorb this concept, I realize the most difficult thing for me is identifying precisely what I need. Self-awareness is vital to truly discover what is needed.
It's easy - at least it is for me - to be very general about figuring out what I need. "I need more time in the day. I need to relax. I need to slow down."
Mariah helped us get in contact with ourselves through a mirror. At first, I thought this would be simple. After all, I talk to myself in the mirror all the time. But in proceeding, I realized that I was really talking at myself, not truly with myself.
So now, when I look into the mirror, I actually make contact with myself. I look at myself, into my own eyes and I ask myself:
What do I feel - really feel...?
What do I want or need - specifically...?
And then, I talk kindly to myself, both providing what I need and allowing myself to receive (hear it) as well.
So how does this help my former student's dilemma of not knowing where she belongs in the field of nursing?
Knowing how connected she has always been to her patients, I know her passion is still alive. Factors such as staff burnout and feeling unsettled in a relatively new environment are understandable reasons for her to feel off balance and a lack of creativity.
And I know that this lovely lady will remember what I stressed to her in Holistic Health. I am going to reiterate it again...
We cannot take care of our patients until we take care of ourselves. Self care is not selfish. Take care of your physical, emotional and spiritual needs... personal creativity is a huge part of that - whatever brings you peace, relaxation, self expression.
If you still love your patients (or whatever work you do...), listen to your heart and what you need and you truly will find work that brings you purpose.
My offer for a reference is ongoing so keep looking for the position that is deserving of you...!
And whatever you do, please don't forget to sing...here's a song I selected for you, my dear:
Before You Go...
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Until next week, set about figuring out what you need and take good care,
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