"The resilience that comes from the scrutiny the wilderness and that"stronger sense of when we're not being true to what we think is right" is the mark a wild heart."
In these 31 Days of October I am unpacking my learning from the book, Braving The Wilderness, by Brené Brown. She has been a favorite author for years. In this new publication she manages to build a sidewalk and curb in the wilderness where we can bravely tread.
Four years ago, my friend Sharon started dialysis, three days a week, for the rest of her life. During an emergency visit to the hospital, it was discovered that her kidneys were working at two percent capacity. It was there that she had her first dialysis treatment and she was scared to go through the procedure. I asked her if she had come to peace with the truth that she would have this treatment forever onward. She laughed and said that she still fights the idea. That fleeting hope of one day her kidneys fully functioning is still there.
What I see in Sharon is a strong back, a soft front, and a wild heart. All attributes that serve her well in the wilderness of dealing with her health. The dialysis center tries to have a positive, pleasant atmosphere. She started out feeling scared and vulnerable but now I see her being outgoing and happy to do this four hour process of cleaning her blood. There are two cups of blood outside of her body going through purification at one time.
I see Sharon greeting technicians by name and commenting on how they are doing. They greet her back with affection that comes from frequent contact in a vulnerable place. She feels that she belongs there because of the warmth of the employees. Many are Filipino and call her "mam".
When asked who her favorite technician is she answered that they were all nice. The best technicians know what they are doing. Sharon has swallow veins and when they put the (size 14-15 knitting needle size) needle in her body she demands that they know how to do it correctly. The consequence of doing things ineffectively is that she bleeds. A treatment which inadvertently causes bleeding leaves her weak and unwell.
Sharon's strong back helps her advocate for herself clearly, her soft front allows her to give love and receive affection, and her wild heart gives her a sense of true belonging and self-worth. You are the wilderness, Sharon.
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