Hi all! I apologize for my brief hiatus from the blogosphere. I recently returned from a much needed vacation in Arizona, a place I have begun to term the “Land of Erosion”. We started in Scottsdale, stopped in Sedona and ultimately made our way to Grand Canyon Village. I had never seen the Grand Canyon before and breathtakingly regarded it with a mixture of awe and, well, terror. I must say I have respect for the unapologetic nature of the canyon. It seems to say, “I’m magnificent, mysterious and deadly, deal with it.” It also seems to say, “Mid-life crisis? Get over yourself!” The product of millions of years of erosion, the Grand Canyon is truly a beautiful sight to behold.
Since the trip, I have felt very inspired. I have found myself pondering the idea of erosion and the erosive forces that have shaped who I am to date. Have long on-call nights been my Colorado River? Maybe. I certainly know they have eroded my ability to sleep soundly and often my ability to be mindful and relaxed. Along the same lines, perhaps the nurturance and support I received from mentors and friends during my residency/fellowship have been my wind, as these relationships have similarly shaped my sense of self while simultaneously building my character.
For some people, erosion may have a negative connotation. It represents the forces of endless traffic, job pressures, and interpersonal stressors wearing one down to the point of feeling numb and disconnected.
But perhaps all erosion really does is uncover the beauty of the true self, the self just waiting to be revealed by time and the “elements”, (i.e. your horrible boss)? Since my trip, I have come to view the erosive forces in my life as opportunities to reveal positive aspects of my character. Traffic provides an opportunity to develop patience and mindfulness. Being awakened in the middle of on-call nights provides an opportunity to practice kindness by helping another person in need. Friendship and love provide the opportunity to experience joy and renewal.
Don’t get me wrong, some of the elements have certainly taken their toll on me. I am not without my jagged edges and weird protuberances. But, these elements are getting me closer to beautiful. They are getting me closer to being my own Cathedral Rock.
Future goal: Embrace erosion as necessary to the very shaping of my self. Practice viewing erosive forces as opportunities to move closer to the beauty of personal growth and development of character. This, like the Grand Canyon, represents true and timeless beauty.