Take a step outside of yourself….

I’ve spent nearly all of the past year working with people who are homeless, addicted, mentally ill, and mentally disabled. I had an especially rough night tonight. Death, drugs, alcohol, violence, and insanity all played part in what quite  possibly could be the hardest shift I’ve ever worked.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, (that’s what I tend to do when my heart gets full) thinking about what I need to learn from where I am now. I know that there’s a lot.  There’s a lot to think about. Part of me feels a little bit like I’ve floated over this part of my life, and that’s a coping mechanism, it is. Another part of me knows that it’s taken strength, restraint, determination, compassion, understanding, a little bit of the floating by and a hell of a lot of patience to get through everything I’ve been through this year. 

Tonight I want to curl up into a ball and disappear. I have a hard time not dwelling on myself, on the effect this night has had on me. When I do focus on myself, I get lost in a sea of hopelessness. Odd.

So, tonight as I was driving home, the thought came into my mind, “Take a step outside of yourself.”  What a novel idea. The instant I allowed myself to take a step outside, I was relieved. Definitely weird. It took taking a step outside of myself to discover that I am not the victim here. I am not the one who died. I am not the one addicted. I am not the one who can find no other way out than violence. I am not the one who is lost inside her own mind.

I am here because this is where I want to be. I was not forced here by circumstance. I chose to be here because this is what I want to do.  This is where I want to be. I love these people- damaged as they may be, and I’m committed to helping them.

If you counted up the number of “I’s”  I used in the last two paragraphs, you would have no idea that I had just taken a step outside of myself. But it took that step outside to get beyond the mental distress and to find the perspective that I need to survive and  to move beyond that and thrive.

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3 thoughts on “Take a step outside of yourself….

  1. Judith Orloff would let things affect her also. Because that is part of the gift that she has to KNOW how people are feeling. And, for her to survive she had to let it “pass through” her and not settle anywhere in her. Experience their emotion, whatever it is at the time, but know that it is not YOU. Then and only then can you actually help others. You have a gift sweet girl. I love you with all my heart, like I told you before. You are one of my gifts given to me from Father in Heaven. You are awesome and inspiring.

  2. Thank you Mama! I appreciate your input. I never give special consideration to my “gift” because it’s always been with me, so it’s nice to know how others have dealth successfully with similar situations. ❤

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