Summer Snippets: On Loving Obstacles

Summer Snippets: On Loving Obstacles

This week’s inspiration comes from one of my favorite quiet time authors, poet Mark Nepo, from The Book of Awakening.

The best chance to be whole is to love whatever gets in the way until it ceases to become an obstacle.

Boy, did I need that advice this week!

Madison, my sweet twenty-five-year-old daughter who is severely impacted by autism, had her discharge plans delayed four times in the last seven days! With so many players (four agencies in addition to the inpatient unit where she has been treated for the last twelve months), my patience began to wear thin as each one raised an obstacle particular to their expertise.

No, she can’t be discharged. Her behavior plan does not meet Maryland state regulations.
No, she can’t be discharged. The revised behavior plan does not incorporate key elements that keep her behaviors in check.
No, she can’t be discharged. The staff needs to be trained on the compromised revised behavior plan.
No, she can’t be discharged. The medication schedule conflicts with the day program structure.
No, she can’t be discharged. She needs to take a new, longer-acting medication to adjust to the day program’s requirements.
No, she can’t be discharged. She needs to be stable for four days.

No, no, NO!

Could I possibly love these obstacles?

But when I broke down each issue, I realized that every person on the team had a role to play and they took that role seriously. They were not going to rush through a transition that has taken twelve months to craft.

Madison will soon begin the rest of her life in a setting far different than any she has experienced. These obstacles, so frustrating and annoying, reflected only one thing:

These people cared.

So I took Nepo’s advice and began to look at the obstacles in a different way.

Yes! I loved the way that they were so conscientious in the execution of their roles.
Yes! I loved that they had standards of excellence, protocols, required processes, and even show-stopping signature pages that turned our conversations into commitments.
Yes! I loved that they weren’t afraid of a healthy discourse, of escalating and getting management involved, of re-reading and rewriting a nineteen-page behavior plan three times.
And yes! I loved that they were direct and honest with me, telling me (in a very pleasant way) to “pipe down” and remember that they had other clients, too. (Shocker: I can get a little intense when it comes to having my plans disrupted!)

Yes, yes, YES! What a tremendous relief I felt when I changed my perspective.

Bring on the love!

In truth, I’m hoping there are no more obstacles to love this week. But if there are, you can bet I’ll figure out a way to love them.

How about you? Have you found a way to “love” an obstacle? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. Thanks for your Amazon.com reviews! With 35 reviews, we are almost to my goal of 40! And, come see me! Next week, August 10, 7 p.m., I’ll be at The Ivy Bookshop for my first reading (yikes!) followed by a book signing! Hope you can join me! (Facebook invite and RSVP here.)

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