On Being the You-est You

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you. Shout aloud, I am glad to be what I am. Thank goodness I’m not a ham, or a clam, or a dusty old jar of gooseberry jam. I am what I am, what a great thing to be. If I say so myself, happy everyday to me!”  ~ Dr. Seuss

Just who exactly are you? What does it look like to be the you-est you? And, why does being truly you matter?

Authentic – The real deal – Legit

You know when you’ve met someone who just seems comfortable, settled, and content in their own skin. You might feel something different when you’re speaking with them. They change the vibration in the room.

This is a person that is self-assured, but humble. They make me feel like they are listening to me with their whole self. They have a heart and mind coherence. I get a sense they just–get-it. And, I love that feeling.

Like magnet and iron. I lean in.

You and you alone

I think our gifts lie in our true self. And, no one else can have the same gifts you have because “There is no one alive who is you-er than you.”!!

I posed a question to a couple of friends. I asked them, what is/are your personal tool(s) for being an authentic person? One said it’s like a self-check list. She said, “I ask myself, what am I feeling? And, then, what are my needs?” Then, she said she connects the two. She said, “I also explore what is my intention?”

I gave that some thought. I decided kindness should be added to every intention. I mean, no matter what your intention is I don’t think it’s ever wrong to have kindness lead the way.

Bringing it home

I’m learning how to stop the multitasking chatter in my head when I’m listening to someone. I’m trying to listen with a different set of ears. I’m trying. I want to listen to another with my whole self. There’s so much richness when I’m really paying attention. And, the drop of time it takes to fully engage when someone is speaking is so worth it. It can open a shared window for both of us. I just want to be all in.

I mean, for real, don’t we all want to be considered worthy of serious regard?

I am learning how to be kinder. I want to be kinder with others as well as with myself. The latter, I’m afraid, is the biggest challenge. It can be hard to let myself off the hook!

From the ICU

We had a client with a little dog in the ICU. She was someone we all knew well. We had treated her cat also. This was a ferocious lady. She had a strong presence and was mostly not pleasant. But, the agonizing love she expressed to her pets filled the room when she visited. A single, elder woman, her pets were her entire life.

He was so sick. Everyone went out of their way, trying so hard to make her visits to the ICU comfortable. But, none of those gestures elicited even the slightest acknowledgement. She only had eyes for whichever pet was in the ICU. After a while, we understood and gave her space.

His last night in the ICU she came to visit. He was recumbent. She raced in, threw her coat off to the side and dropped to the floor.  He was in a lower cage. Aware she was there, he did his best to engage. Just his eyes managed to roll to meet her gaze, though.

It’s not if – it’s when

These are the souls I say have already packed their bags. They’re ready to move on. And, I believe they have a leg over on each side…here and closer to the threshold. And, she was begging him to stay.

I picked her coat up off the floor, brushed it off and folded it over a chair. Softly, I told her where I’d laid it. But, she didn’t reply. She wanted nothing to do with any of us.

It was obvious. This woman was broken. Her intense love for this dog had her crippled. There were whispers that she was probably in denial. She wasn’t in denial. She knew full well she was going to lose him. She thought she could will him to stay. She thought she could love him enough that he wouldn’t go.

The process begins

It was hard not to judge. I had put her in a box, in a category. It’s frustrating. We want so bad to help, to fix.  But, sometimes, it’s not ours to fix. And, more often than not, what annoys and frustrates me is really a mirror that’s being held up. It’s then I need a closer look.

Getting to a peaceful benevolent place helped me come to terms with what I was feeling. For me, it’s a process like adjusting binoculars. I roll the lens in and then out again.

As it turned out, going through my process was a really good thing. A day later she and her dog came into our hospice services. I would get to know them both a lot better. I took care of them in her home. That was where he was eventually euthanized. They were some strong teachers on my path.

Compassion and empathy is just a couple of the attributes of an authentic person. This practice of becoming one’s true self is not for wussies. But the gifts found along the way are priceless!

The balance

How do we manage our true selves in this veterinary world? It is a paradoxical world of head and heart. No wonder it’s a challenge to maintain our balance at times. No wonder we give different names for the types of fatigue we’re suffering from. There had to be more descriptions for, I’m just tired.

And yet, you hold out and hang on. And yet, you persist.

I love how we jump in the middle of this contrasting environment. Not all careers have such common ground among people. We have more in common with each other than we realize.  And, still, we are individuals. We are our own selves with our own gifts.

We share much of the same sensitivity. It’s just that some wear theirs on the outside. And, some wear theirs buried very deep. The same, but different.

The one and only YOU

 To be the real-est real we can be. To be the best you and the best me.

The fact remains, there is only one you. Think about the gifts you have that no one else has. Are you bringing those gifts to veterinary medicine? And if not, why not? Veterinary medicine is best served with both linear and nonlinear people, I think. Maybe you’re afraid of being judged. Or, maybe, you aren’t even aware of the gifts only you possess! Get in there and take a look!

Bringing it back to center

This is a hellacious stretch of time we’re living. The discussions and debates are just the way we do it.

I believe at our core, though, we are loving and kind people. Our dedication to our patients and the families that love them rises above all. That’s our true selves. That’s our authenticity. It truly is love leading our way. Your gifts, the ones only you have, are your contribution. And, you might be served well to share them. Take the chance. Bring them out. Don’t be bashful. Let them shine.

Please, if you would, click the link below. I know you’re all very busy. But, I promise this little survey won’t take much time. And I’d be so appreciative. There is a little intro to it. Thank you very much.