During this Thanksgiving season, I am thinking about gratitude and creating a happier world. On a recent trip to the store, I was grabbed by a child’s drawings on the wall.
I am a tiny potato and I believe in you.
It got me thinking about what it means to have people believe in you, love you, stand beside you, encourage you. And how some of us have that in our homes and schools and work places and others do not. It’s not so binary, I know, there are varying degrees on either side of the potato field.
I am thankful to feel these things in my own life and to have raised a family in an environment of love & encouragement.
As a licensed naturopathic doctor I also know that believing in my patients, in their capacity to heal, and in their ability to make lifestyle changes that support better health is an essential ingredient of my individualized prescription plans. I assume my patients want to get better. I trust they will try hard. I lean into my understanding of their inherent healing capacity, I applaud small steps and progress my patients make. And I also don’t get frustrated when patients fall short. We all fall short sometimes. I do not give up on patients.
An adult patient of mine, struggling with anxiety, depression and social isolation was trying to improve herself by taking an online course. She was falling behind which reinforced her sense of worthlessness. So, in addition to working with a range of natural medicine approaches and a number of relevant, evidence based botanicals, I told her that every Friday, I wanted her to send me an email update and tell me how she was doing with her assignments from school that week.
The first week she told me she handed in all her homework. The second week she shared she had passed an exam. The third week she did not get her work done but said knowing I was expecting her email, at least in part, made her pick herself up and do better. The following Friday, she sent an email saying she had handed in her term paper on time and was now assured to pass the class. She thanked me profusely for being there, it helped to know someone cared.
Effort on my part took about 5 minutes, replying to emails with a few words of encouragement. It’s a busy world out there, there is always more on the to-do list. But when you come across someone, in whatever world you work and live in, who needs someone to believe in them, maybe we can all recall that small potato that believes in people.