I have to complete continuing education courses to maintain my pharmacy degree. I was browsing online for some free ones to get a few of my credits in. I found one entitled, “Emotional Labor: How it can Affect the Practice of Pharmacy.”
I completed it, but I found it had application to anyone’s personal life, and probably lots and lots of people’s professional/career lives. Here’s a concept that I don’t usually hear, whether from work-related sources, or even the church much of the time:
Every patient feels that the doctor, pharmacist, etc., should care about their case like they do, but that would require far too much investment and effort. So many times it has to be “faked.”
I don’t know – last night I just found that kind of refreshingly forthright and honest. Saying aloud (in print) what we all already know. It is impossible to continuously feel what we are required/expected to portray to the outside world to whom we have covenental or contractual expectations to fulfill…those places where being genuine and letting it all hang out are simply not permissible. It didn’t say you can somehow get out of doing the right thing – acting in a compassionate, caring manner. Just acknowledging that sometimes it’ll amount to faking it. And it went on to give tips and strategies for having the best chance of having a recharged battery, and finding the wells that nourish and restore you…the places where you can let it all hang out.
Many would say faith in God is one of those places – in intimate personal prayer perhaps, where the hair can be let down, it can all hang out. It’s hard though when you’ve spent a lifetime of acting your way into “really nice person” status and maintaining the veneer of nice respectable Christian person. Where do you begin, and the act end, you might ask in one of your more anxious moments? Would you like YOU, if you were able to peel away the act? Many, and I include myself in that set, would say that true prayer is the place where the painful peeling can take place, and ironically enough, God gives reassurance that you don’t have to work so hard at being lovable. That whole unconditional, all-forgiving love sort of thing. And then paradoxically strengthened to return to the honest-to-goodness (sometimes hard!) emotional labor of being on for your patients and others in your life who really DO rely on you. That kind of prayer requires courage to face yourself, and trust that God will do a good work in you and heal you.
Lord, give me courage and trust all my days.