Thursday, April 21, 2011



Learn to trust the inner “timer” that will guide you through paths and transitions even before you become aware of them. Some things need time to gestate, to grow and mature before coming into being; these may be ideas, plans, projects, or whatever. Pamper and nurture them. Do not give up on something that is not as immediate as you think it should be. A more patient part of you may recognize that the time and circumstances are not yet right. Worthwhile ideas and plans will not abandon you. Those that do fade away were not meant to be.

The same is true for the doubts and questions, which, always seem to find their way into our minds, sometimes in astounding abundance. Rilke said it best when he wrote, “have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the question now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” *

* M. D. Herter Norton, Letters to a Young Poet Rainer Maria Rilke (New York, W W Norton & Company,1934), p. 35.


When confronted with a choice between your head and your heart, and both appear to be of the same weight, choose your heart. Soon after I opened my first medical practice I was caring for a patient in the hospital who was quite ill. She was a very old woman whom I had treated in the clinic during my days as a medical resident. We had established a mutual fondness and respect for one another, and she became my private patient. Her condition was terminal, and on rounds one morning we talked about her imminent death. Like so many others in her position, she was not afraid to die. As I prepared to leave I wanted to kiss her cheek, but didn’t, because I thought it was not what a “doctor” should do. That night she died, and I never saw her again, and I promised myself that with few exceptions, I would never let my head over ride my heart again.

1 comment:

Kathy Hodge said...

I have another philosophy, not always followed! "When confronted with a choice between action and inaction, and both appear to be of the same weight, choose action."

I like yours a lot though, and will try to follow it. Your patient felt that virtual kiss though, I'm sure...when you're vulnerable it's easy to see who really cares for you.