Category Archives: Communication

Trusting Others

We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy. — Walter Anderson

I know I’ve talked about trust before, but I was provoked to think about it some more. Seems I don’t have very good radar when it comes to who I can trust. Matter of fact, my trust has been misplaced more than once I must say. So, how does one work on developing that sense that helps you determine if someone is trustworthy? I used to think that I could just avoid putting my trust in anyone. I had been burned in the past and thought that I would just avoid relationships altogether. That didn’t solve much as far as trust is concerned. I avoided one kind of relationship, but still wound up in a relationship that was not in my best interest.
Then I thought perhaps I should just be an open book and think the best of everyone. Not a good approach either. I found inevitably that I would be disappointed. This probably applies to relationships and other aspects of life (like work). So why don’t I get the red flags or some kind of warning sign that I am being too vulnerable? I’m sure it has something to do with self-esteem as well. I need to think more of myself and that I deserve better than how I have been treated. I need to find the middle of the road when it comes to trusting others. How do I question other’s motivation without offending? My nature is to help others (I am a nurse after all) but I need to be cautious in my dealings. People aren’t always what they seem to be…

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Been Here a Year

Hard to believe that I started blogging a little over a year ago. Looking back, I’ve covered a lot of territory. The question is, am I learning anything, and am I applying it to my life? I hope so, but its hard work.

My therapist is insistent that I really need to work on being more social. Being on the internet doesn’t count! This has been difficult for me. She laughs because just about all my friends are nurses. How else would I know people except through work? Even so, I find that I have a hard time reaching out to others. It’s soooo much easier to veg at home by myself on the weekend. Again I ask, why do I have to be the one reaching out to others? I feel like sometimes someone should reach out to me!

Anyways, it has been a long year of blogging. I have learned much about writing for others and myself. It takes time and thoughtfulness to write something meaningful. I don’t know if it has been helpful to anyone else, but it has been helpful for me. I could never write a journal for myself, but this has come to me somewhat easier. Hopefully even as my depression may improve, I’ll still be able to write about significant topics.

New Environments

I have been incredibly busy the past six weeks with my new job, hence the dearth of blog posts. I must say this is the very first job that I have had that has been such a positive, uplifting experience. I look forward to each day (despite my lack of morning person-ness) because I know I am going to work in a positive environment.

My boss is the biggest influence on the work environment. He always greets me with a big hello and a smile. Work is about collaboration, not subordination. I feel he respects me and values my opinion. And he is generous with feedback and tells me what a great job I am doing. I don’t ever remember being in such a welcoming environment over my entire 21 year career. Sometimes I think I’m dreaming.

Some people say it’s easier to work for a male boss, which may be true. But being a highly sensitive person, I think it is more than that. We share similar values about work, we interact effectively, quality is important to us and we want to help others in a meaningful way. I hope to learn much from him, and I also hope I can share things with him as well.

Hey, the glass is half-full for a change, and I must say I’m quite pleased about the whole thing. It has made a great impact on my mood as well. My boss sees me as a positive, likeable person, and I’m glad to be feeling that way again. It means all that hard work is paying off.

Now if I can make some progress in other parts of my life….

Trust

Trust is a big issue for me. I have thought about it more frequently as I commute on the interstate back and forth to work. Being on the highway is trusting in a lot of strangers all at the same time. Trusting that they will maintain their speed, stay in their lane or signal to change, basically trusting that everyone will follow the rules of the road so we all remain safe.

There doesn’t seem to be a rule book for relationships to keep one safe. So trust is a big issue, at least for me. Reflecting on previous relationships, sometimes it did feel as if the other person was driving erratically, forgetting to use turn signals and stopping abruptly. We may have been on the same road, but not necessarily in agreement on how to get where we were going. And of course each of us wants to be just one more car ahead, so we push farther, exceeding the speed limit to be the leader. Throw all caution to the wind, this relationship is on the freeway of love!

However, love is not enough to sustain. Trust involves deeper feelings of consideration, compatibility, and honesty. Each car should be well maintained per se, to function well in relation to others. Lack of maintenance is a sure recipe for disaster. I think we have to work on ourselves and our relationship to build the feelings that lead to trust.

I think my metaphor is a little stretched and worn, but you get my point. Trust is an issue everyday, in many ways.

Another Birthday

Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.
Celebrated another birthday this week, I think that makes me officially middle-aged, being forty-five. It hasn’t been traumatic or anything, just thinking that more than half of this life is likely over, and that it tends to be a melancholy thought for most. Age has never been something I really dwell on too much. I spend a lot of my time at work with older people, really old, like nineties old.  So that tends to keep things in perspective for me.
I guess I’ve been what most people call an old soul. I’ve always been wise beyond my years, drawn to being with adults, especially older adults rather than children or people my age. I just seem more attune to them. I think Depression has aged me too. I feel like I have lived longer, harder than most. Maybe had more experience emotionally and psychologically so that has matured me. My body seems to register on their cohort as well. I have aches and pains that I believe are a bit premature for someone my age. I’m sure my sporadic exercise and irregular dietary habits don’t help the situation. But I just don’t think I should feel like THIS.
However, I am grateful to be here in this shape and form for now. I don’t know that I want to live to my nineties if it includes sickness and infirmity. I have observed much suffering in the elderly during my work as a nurse and would not wish it upon anyone. What I have now is more than enough to cope with, I can’t imagine life with diminished capacities as well.
I want to make the best of the time that I do have. It’s an opportunity now that I have learned so much during the first part of my life. So I best check with those elders for some wisdom on coping. I bet they have a lot to say about all those birthdays.

Listen, It’s More Than Just Shutting Up

Every once in a while I think we all take the time to be still for a moment and just listen…It can be in the midst of a hectic day at work or a lull in a Saturday afternoon. Right now I’m being still at home. The furnace just kicked on, I can hear the hum of the dryer as it tosses the towels about. I can also hear the twitter (how we used to use the word) of the birds outside that came back way too early this year. And the tick of the clock hanging on the wall above me. So there are lots of noises going on besides the constant noise in my head (and I’m not referring to the chronic tinnitus I’ve developed from ear infections either). 

But do we listen to each other? One of the skills I’ve developed as a nurse is the ability to listen to patients and families. Sometimes people just need to talk without interruption. Listening with intention is a skill. It’s becoming invested in what someone is saying, having empathy, being moved to respond meaningfully. Sometimes when we talk, we don’t want solutions or answers, we just need to be heard. It means we have truly connected with another human being, having communicated our thoughts and feelings.

At times it is ok to just be in the silence together. The unsaid is just as meaningful/powerful as what is given over to words. The old cliché of “reading between the lines” is an apt description of the power of the nonverbal. Listen  to the silence. What hasn’t been said? What might it mean? Perhaps we should just ponder it…in silence.