I worked on this piece as a self-assigned art therapy project to help me find balance in my emotions. When I get emotionally overwhelmed while seeing patients or in my personal life, I try to take Dr. Brummel-Smith's advice to not ignore my feelings and to remain present in that moment. In order to find balance, I must also have awareness of the whole picture and remember which piece is strongest and on top. The following was the advice Dr. Brummel-Smith offered to me during my first clinical rotation of medical school.
“You are being given an amazing gift, working with people who are suffering. The most important thing you can do for them is to recognize your feelings and not run from them. Your job is to remain present, and removed, at the same time. It’s the perfect Zen experience. Look at the Tao symbol and think of that when you are feeling overwhelmed.
The black is being overwhelmed. But even in that tidal wave there is a circle of hope. The white is your commitment to the patient and to yourself. There’s always a dark circle hidden in that, but the white is strong – and on top!”
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