They remember to exhale during stress.
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We can get frantic, hyperventilate, shut down, and become reactive. Needless to say, these responses to stress just make us more stressed. Surrendered people have the ability to pause, take a deep breath, and observe. Sustaining silence and circumspection are two behaviors that lead to better, healthier outcomes.
They are powerful without dominating. Surrendered people understand that true power comes from being respectful and listening.
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Surrendered people know themselves and are empathetic toward others. When they sit quietly in a room, others always seem to come to them. They feel successful apart from their job or net worth.
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Surrendered people enjoy life, relish their personal development, and value their friends. They may have an exceptionally good career and be wealthy, but they are more concerned with meaning and fulfillment. In our white supremacist town, where racial apartheid was the norm, all our leaders preached working for civil rights.
In my teens I was more mesmerized by the political resistance of black power militants. If we had to choose between Malcolm and Martin, my vote was definitely going to be for Malcolm.
Motivated by our belief in a love ethic, masses of Americans worked in the late sixties and early seventies to unlearn the logic of domination and dominator culture. While militant black power struggle certainly helped bring about important social reforms, it also produced a culture of despair because support for violence was a central component of its agenda. Tragically, he did not live long enough to be an enlightened voice for self-love among black people. Focusing intensely on the project of ending the white racist assault on black people, King did not develop further his thinking about the necessity of self-love.
The hardhearted person lacks the capacity for genuine compassion….
The hardhearted individual never sees people, but rather as mere objects or as impersonal cogs in an ever-turning machine…. He depersonalizes life. We must seek democracy and not the substitution of one tyranny for another…God is not interested merely in the freedom of black men, and brown men, and yellow men; God is interested in the freedom of the whole human race. As I studied and wrote about ending domination in all its forms, it became clearer and clearer that a politics rooted in a love ethic produced lasting, meaningful social change.
When I traveled the nation asking folk what enabled them to be courageous in struggling for freedom, whether working to end domination of race, gender, sexuality, class or religion, the response was love. The Biblical prophets always had a two-fold task. For example, when taking a history, I just let people speak. Some of them have been waiting to say what they want to say for a long time, and it is important to let them have their say. This rarely takes more than a couple of minutes at most, but it allows people space to be seen and to be heard, and to feel that what they have to say matters, which it does.
And I find that very little needs to be said after that, whereas if they are cut off, they are continually trying to finish what they started, and they can leave feeling unheard and unsatisfied.
7 Habits of Surrendered People - Judith Orloff MD
I love my work days now. There is an ease and a flow about the way I work which radiates out to my staff, my patients and my waiting room. Of course I am not perfect and I am often running a few minutes late and sometimes quite a few, but my patients know that when their turn comes, I will give them my full attention and do whatever is in my power to help them with their problems and care for them as people.
At the end of the day I feel tired, but not exhausted, and I take that spacious feeling home with me to my husband. And if for any reason I get trapped in time again, and lose that feeling of space, I take a moment to come back to my connection with myself and the spaciousness inside. Just sitting for a moment, or having a drink of water, or taking a toilet break is sometimes all that it takes.
I go for a short walk at lunchtime which sometimes helps me to realise that I have taken something on in the morning, and allows me to let it go, so that I start the afternoon afresh, and at the end of the day I sit for a moment as I warm up my car and reflect on my day and how it was and how I am feeling now.
It is all one life, and we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and not just go home and dump our day on our families or bury it in food or drown it in drink or numb it with all manner of distraction and numbing devices that we have at our disposal these days. Our jobs are inherently stressful and we can deal with that stress and let it go at the end of the day, or carry it into the next day, and the next, and the next …. Living life in such a responsible way, responding to what is happening and how you are feeling, allows you to feel spacious, even joyful, while doing a busy, inherently stressful job, day after day after day … and to grow old gracefully, loving what you do … now that is good medicine … not just for doctors, but for everyone!
Proverbs 19:23 TPT
This was such a great article to read as I have a young son and I have on numerous mornings, actually most mornings feel rushed by time and trapped by it. I hate being late yet I always seem to be. I hate to rush but I do…. I loved your reminder about space and allowing people to say what they had to say, and not cutting them off. I also love the simple reminder of coming back to yourself during the day and not returning home with stuff from work to dump onto the family! Big responsibility there.
I dropped my phone when I read that so there was a lot in that for me to take in. Always love your writing Anne, if only I have myself space to read all your articles when they come into my inbox… but the heading in this one really got me as I could relate to it instantly. Thanks so much Leah for taking the time and space to write … the paradox of being a mother of small children is that the more space we give ourselves and each other, the more opens up, so that there is time for what is needed … I know this deeply, and do my best to practise it now, with no perfection expected, of myself or others … such a change … but maybe that is because I now get sleep!
So much of what you say resonates within myself and my experience to date — not necessarily related to the practice of medicine! I too love to listen to what people have to say, and I will be keen to develop my own efficiency when space is what is adhered to, rather than time.