This is not about politics. It is about people. More specifically, it is about those on the frontlines in healthcare. Let me ask you a question. How are you doing? Have you stopped for a minute recently to ask yourself that question? How are you dealing with uncertainty and fears that you, your family, your co-workers, or your patients may be facing?
I have the honor of connecting with oncology healthcare practitioners on a regular basis—many of them are nurses. Of course, as always, you do your best show up and be there for your patients and your organization no matter what is going on in life.
Recently, I’ve been asking this question: “How are you doing?” of those of you I’ve come in contact with. The response is, understandably, guarded at first. The bottom line is that once they know they are speaking in a safe and confidential space, the sadness, fear, and exhaustion comes out. These feelings are being repressed, understandably so, in the workplace and possibly in other parts of life.
When things become challenging, I’ve found that calling on grace can be helpful. Grace is defined as, “the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful.”
How can we choose grace as our path forward through troubling times?
- People are either in a space of fear or love —and they cannot be in both at the same time in any given moment. If someone is lashing out in anger, recognize it as fear and do what you can to practice love.
- You are either in a space of fear or love. When you’re feeling tense, anxious, angry, or upset, typically fear is present. Ask yourself, how can I shift into love in this moment?
- Be gentle and kind to others and to you. To be gentle is to be “free from harshness, sternness, or violence.” To be kind is to, “have or show a gentle nature and a desire to help others.”
- Lean on your tribe. We all need a safe place to be heard and get support for emotions you are feeling and may need to express. Mindfully choose whom you can comfortably reach out to and make time to connect with those people.
When we practice these four things, we can walk in grace more easily. From there, we can draw on compassion and experience more ease. Troubling times create an opportunity to lead oneself, and others, from darkness into light. It offers the chance to stop and explore what we value—and then live those values. During troubling times, we can get caught up in the turmoil and fear or we can walk in grace and bring more peace to the world.
What will you choose that will bring you the most ease and help you to continue to show up in your role serving your patients, your co-workers, and your organization in a way that reminds us all that we can be more, even when there is much evidence around us of people being less?