Yesterday I had my first appointment with my ‘regular’ medical professional…my P.A. whom I adore…since the issues from last year ended. And it was awesome. Think about it, how many times do you say that after seeing your healthcare person? The reason it was so awesome was because this woman/friend listened to everything I said, discussed it with me, gave me her opinion, and then let me be part of the decision making process. She let me be in control of my own life. And let’s face it, control over my health isn’t exactly something I’ve had over the past year. But it’s not really about the control here.
At the end of my appointment yesterday, we hugged one another hard and both agreed that the two of us were back in charge and working together. In other words, we’re a team, she’s part of my tribe. I can count on her to respect me, to be straight with me, and always to support me even if she disagrees with me.
In my line of work, we talk about our ‘tribe’ quite a bit. Your tribe can be any amount of people really. Doesn’t matter. Your tribe consists of the those who understand the person you are. They understand how you think and what you need when you need it. But more importantly, they respect your right to your opinion. Your tribe is ‘safe space.’ And your tribe can shift. Folks come in, folks go out and that’s okay. (If you pay attention, you’ll realize there are always those core tribe members that are there to stay.)
As I’ve gotten older I’ve thought a lot about the folks I let in to my life. I’ll admit, in the not so distant past, it was very important for me to keep those in my life in my life. Meaning, if someone left my circle I felt it was somehow my fault. I did something wrong. The thought of someone not liking me was actually painful to me. So I would often do or say or think whatever they wanted me to in order to stay in their good graces. But I’ve finally realized that that’s…well, dumb.
As they say, we have one life. Shouldn’t we be allowed to think and feel the way we do about pretty much anything? Shouldn’t we spend our lives surrounded by the folks that love and support us no matter what? And if someone does leave our tribe, or we feel we need to leave theirs, shouldn’t we honor them for the lessons they’ve helped us learn?
I think we should.
Live and learn with love…