Friday, March 3, 2017


Sasha from SMD posted today about a struggle with a critic. An excerpt:

"It can wear you down to listen to your critics, can't it? But the fire is where iron is hardened and where we are molded and where strength arises. Where fortitude and character are built, and where your weaknesses are burned away. The fire is also where it is evident who has your back, and who will pick you up when you fall down.

You can't please everyone, and you can't listen to people who aren't in the same arena fighting with you. You can't take everyone to the top of the Ferris Wheel, and the biggest thing I learned, it's not YOUR JOB to figure out WHY you are too much for some people. That's their choice, not yours.

Pursuing your dream, living your life - this will be too much for others. The way you talk, dress, work, laugh, even smile, will offend someone, somewhere.

Be kind. Be respectful. But don't cave in the corner and stay silent or inactive bc you're "too much" for some person. Go forward humbly and live your dream."

Hundreds of comments. Someone reminded her of a Maya Angelou poem:

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high, 
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops, 
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of a slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Her post and this poem really hit home. Taking on other's negative opinions is like absorbing their problems into your own psyche. Many women have enough of a harsh inner critic that they don't need others to reinforce it. And many critical people are only projecting their own insecurities and misery onto those around them to try to make themselves feel better, which ultimately doesn't bear out. Seems my lesson this year is to learn to let go of other's negativity - it's hard, but I'm getting there. Time heals. 

Another commenter posted a famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasm, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while DARING GREATLY . . ."

In between a boatload of needles and cases and running a meeting today I got to visit a mock up of a new bronch endoscopy suite. I felt like I had just walked into a space station. They had it set up in Shuffield Auditorium all week. We may even be able to project what we see under the scope into the procedure room in real time. Seems bronch lab might finally climb out of the basement.

When I was at my wit's end this morning because I hadn't had time to look at any of my cases due to procedure after procedure, I came into my office to find this. My eyes welled up. 

I found out later my cytotech, who is aware of my love of dark chocolate and almonds, left this by my scope. I thanked him. The day got easier. We are all in this together. When people like Tony and all the anonymous SMD sisters notice you are struggling and support you, rather than try to tear you down, it makes every effort and struggle and hard day worth it.

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