Did You Learn to Love?
When all is said and done, everything comes back to LOVE.
When I first started in my job as a Chiropractic Assistant, there was a patient who I found hard to serve. Things had to be done just right, and I could never seem to do a good enough job to meet their needs. I found myself groaning when I heard their name called on the schedule, tensing up, expecting that I was going to once again be raked over the coals. I was caught up in thinking about myself. I felt inadequate, out of my comfort zone, unqualified and inexperienced, and this person just managed to poke all those buttons. I cannot say exactly when things began to shift, but I remember what did; my perspective. I began to care more about them and think more about what I could do to meet their needs. How could I improve? Instead of being reactive, how could I anticipate? The first change was in my demeanor. Rather than avoiding interaction until the last possible minute, I began to greet this person boldly and warmly as soon as they came in. If possible, I would set up their traction before they were ready. I would give specific increments of time to check in with them and make sure I was on time. In short, I upped my level of care and upped my level of service. Over the course of time (months and over and a half later), our rapport has become a strong one. I look forward to when they come in. My last interaction with this patient, upon hearing their health was not improving under our care but may even be declining, I found myself asking questions, seeking to understand, looking for ways to help. More than that, I found out I love them. I was seeing them for who they are and deeply desiring what is best for them. I don't know what the next step is for them to improve their health and well-being, but I am glad to be a partner, a confidante, even a friend, and ally. I am glad I learned to love.
There are many people who come into our lives that can seem like a challenge or a stressor. They might push our buttons and rub us the wrong way, but they may also be serving a higher purpose for our lives and us for theirs. We can resist these people and how they make us feel, or we can choose them. We can choose to love with the best of ourselves and be open-handed to what happens beyond our choosing. We can embrace them for who they are, and begin to see ourselves soften and be reshaped in the image of Love. We can be the presence of the divine by simply opening up to love those in our midst and cultivating space for others to do the same.
At the end of each day and at the end of my life, I want to answer yes to this question:
Did you learn to love?