Last week I saw two doctors within the span of two days. Two more than I usually see in a year. The first had a lot to say and went quickly from charming to overbearing, instructing me to toss every vitamin supplement I own since they are not FDA approved and cannot be trusted. In her view, they make things worse. She was too busy being right to notice my response.
The second was like clear water, He listened without comment. He spoke without prejudice. He told me what I needed to know and made no effort to convince me he was right. His advice held no judgment. The little he said made sense.
Through the years I’ve learned that I don’t need my doctor to be my friend, or to like me, or approve of me. What I do need is to be treated as an equal. An adult. And for him or her not to make pronouncements, as though there is only one way (their own) that things should be done. And if it’s not too far a reach, to have the wisdom and grace to step into a space where ego doesn’t drive truth underground and there is no hierarchy of status. Just two people talking.
These doctors do exist. I have encountered them on several occasions. They shine like lights in the darkness and give me hope. We need more of them
When I was a kid I would sneak from my bed at night and listen to the grownups discuss life as they knew it (which seemed far more interesting, than life as I knew it). One of the topics of conversation was doctors. And the greatest compliment paid at the time was to call him (yes, it was always a him in those days) “A very big man.”
In my innocence, I assumed that meant girth, height, presence. Of course, it was none of these, although they were sometimes included in the package. The Big Man had power, commanded respect, had an office in Manhattan, on Central Park West, and could tell you what to do and how to do it with surety, and within a blink of the eye.
My first doctor was Morris Schwartzfarb. Dr. Schwartzfarb made house calls, seven days a week, at $10 a pop. Since he lived in the building, He had only to cross the courtyard and take the elevator to the second floor to get to our apartment. He was accessible and kind. What we called a real mensch. But, as you may have already guessed, he was never referred to “as a very big man.”
Yet for me, he was special. Like the Taoist master, he did his work, and walked away. He never bragged, made unfunny jokes, touted his credentials, or acted like he knew stuff we didn’t ─ just stuff that was different. While we knew about jumping rope, broiling a chicken, cleaning the house, choosing the best fruit, and going to school. He knew how to use a stethoscope, take our blood pressure, and give injections. He had his job; we had ours. We were different but equal.
Too many of today’s doctors see themselves as ” Very Big Men.” Yes, even the women, except for a few who don’t, like the Dinosaur.
Fantasy Doctors are a precious species. I am always on the lookout. When I find them, I make sure to say how special they are. After all, they are rare birds, disappearing faster than the wind. And with the way things are now, who can blame them?
If you wish to find yourself a Fantasy Doctor, use this imagery exercise for the next 21 days with the intention of drawing one to you, or you to her/him, and see what happens.
Unlocking the Gates
Close your eyes and breathe out three times. See yourself standing before a set of gates that until now have been closed to you. Find nearby a key and unlock these gates. See, sense and know how by unlocking the gates, the way opens, and all obstacles disappear.
Ask the universe for what it is that you want. See yourself receiving it. Notice what happens and how you feel.
Then breathe out, open your eyes, and never doubt it for a minute.