We live in an ever-changing healthcare environment. No matter where you look, or what you hear, there is ambiguity and difficult situations. When things get tough, we have a tendency to become anxious, and this anxiety leads to behavior and thought processes that we need to name and hopefully keep in check.
One such behavior is that of blame. It is our natural tendency to want to have more information, know more about situations, and look for the reasons why things are not going well. This leads to blame due to the lack of communication by others. “If only you had told me about a situation,” or, “You are not telling me something for a reason,” or, “Why did you not tell me,” are all phrases we hear or even say when stress increases.
There is a simple solution – trust. Reverence is when we put trust in other peoples’ actions and words. What this means to me is that I have to make an active choice – do I start from a position of trust or distrust? If I start from a position of distrust, it is very easy for me to lay blame on others and worsen difficult situations. If I start from a position of trust, I can look at things much differently. I choose to inherently trust in others, and thus I am able to better deal with my anxieties and stress. Sure, someone can lose my trust, but I start from trust and allow myself to have those that have lost my trust earn it back.
How does starting from a position of trust help me deal with stress and anxiety? If I am in a situation where I feel like I need more information, or I was not told something, I quickly pivot to a space where there are two possible reasons why I do not have what I feel I need. The first is that I truly did not need to know and I needed to trust that others were handling the situation. It might not have been handled in a way I would have, but it’s not about me. I need to trust in the fact that someone else was doing the best they could to handle the situation. The second scenario is that they should have told me, but they either forgot, or truly did not see the need. This occurrence falls into a category of a mistake if I am truly trusting. If I am not trusting, I see it as an active attack. If I am trusting, and see it as a mistake, I am able to forgive it as a mistake, and help educate on why I might have needed to know.
Starting from a position of trust has helped me deal with tough situations and personal anxiety in a way that is not only life-giving for me, but also improves my relationship with others. In order for us to truly deliver on our vocation of serving others, we must first be able to have virtues that allow us to be more comfortable with ourselves, and create a positive space with others.