Self-Care Tip #115 – If it’s not serving you well, don’t waste your time on it. Be a friend to yourself.
Trixie Hidalgo, advocate to end violence in America, tells me that many of the people engaging in gang crimes tell her that they are put in their life positions (poor, stereotyped, impoverished) by the people who have the power, to keep those people in power and to keep them down. They have some credible arguments we’ve shared before in history relating to oppression such as race, color, gender, money, or status. Are these people victims? Sure, why not. But is that the point here?
The victims reminded me of a clinic I was in the other day. I was working with Marcus and his father. The father was torn about where to go to get his disabled son, Marcus, treatment. Marcus was disabled with both brain illnesses and severe psychosocial stressors. Currently we found Marcus, 2 years into treatment with me, and as of yet, father and mother (divorced without amicable terms) had yet to engage in treatment with me. They wanted to know why Marcus was the way he was. Father pointed at Mother and Mother pointed at Father. They blamed other things as well, the schools not providing the right services, the medications for not working, his genes, and more. Meanwhile, Marcus is tearing up his classroom and his own life. He is barely functional socially. Moody and volatile. Anxious with physical symptoms. He was having multiple medical work-ups going successively for various physical complaints.
Before I let them go, I told his parents, “Who cares what his diagnoses are? It’s not about the diagnosis.” The purpose of a diagnosis is to serve the patient. The patient doesn’t serve the diagnosis. Right now, Marcus was serving the quest for his diagnoses. If all they can see is that, and they miss the fact that their son isn’t functioning, he’s depressed and anxious and violent and no one can stand to be around him, Marcus is worsening continually while they go on debating – they’ve missed “IT.”
They’ve missed it. And so have we when we waste time counting up the offenses we’ve directly or indirectly suffered. We miss it when we increase our injury by holding ourselves responsible to our history. I asked Marcus’ parents what the point of what they were doing for Marcus was. I ask the victims of America, what the point is when they point to history to answer for their present condition. If it’s not serving you well, if it’s not doing something good for you, than what are you doing with it? Do good things for yourself.
For the victims, for Marcus, and for Marcus’ parents, 1st make sure we weren’t missing something medical that was keeping them from having life quality. You can’t give what you don’t have. Then move on to the psychosocial issues and spiritual and so on. What ever we ran into that missed our point, we’d walk past it together and on to something that served us well.
If you’d like to read more on this topic, read more in “It’s Time to Grow Up” and “The Whole World Becomes Blind.”
Question: How have you managed to move past things that weren’t serving you well? Please tell me your story.