you really believe about yourself, your spouse, your child,
your finances, your potential, and God?
I challenge you to look
at the condition of your life and you
will see what it is you truly believe. It was in examining
my own life
that I realized I wasn’t living the way I consciously desired
to live day-to-day.
Physicians are very busy people in general.
So what I say next is not meant to imply that all busy physicians
with faulty beliefs. The issue is not the usual busyness of
story is intended to convey overwhelming busyness that was outside
the normal range.
Thirty years ago, I did not know any other
physician whose life seemed as busy and chaotic as mine. I
was a respected physician,
but my colleagues and most of the nurses branded me as one
who had a “dark cloud” over her head because of the types
of emergencies that would come in when I was on-call and because
of the extraordinary number of admissions to the hospital I seemed
to have on my call days.
My life as a young resident physician
was stressful and exhausting. My days and nights were constantly
interrupted with emergencies.
I never slept more than one to two interrupted hours on most
of my nights on call. Most times I would no sooner get into
my beeper would go off.
In my first practice, our typical weekend
on-call began on Friday morning and ended on Monday morning.
This happened once every
three weeks since there were three of us. My regular weekly
Therefore once every three weeks, I was on-call
from Friday to Wednesday morning. Wednesday was my usual day off.
My days consisted
of a tiring and hectic day in the office after which I would
go home to an endless pile of paperwork which never seemed
We frequently went to other hospitals to pick up premature
babies born at the surrounding hospitals and bring them back to
hospital where we would treat them in our neonatal intensive
We did not have ER physicians in the hospital at nights. The
community physicians were the ER physicians for our community.
if an ill pediatric patient came to the ER, the pediatrician
on-call was responsible to see and treat that patient.
on call after a very busy day in the office, I arrived
home after the children were asleep. My husband had prepared
a meal and as he was putting it on the table for me, said, “I
hope you have a quiet night.” I immediately retorted, “I
know this night will be horrible. It has already started. I just
know that someone will come into the ED as soon as I get ready
He said, “Sharon, don’t say that.
to bring about what you say.” I was furious with him. I
was totally exhausted. I did not want to have to go back to the
Did he think I enjoyed being this busy? I couldn’t believe
he said that. How dare he insinuate that I had any control over
the emergencies of others?
That night I pleaded with God to keep
things quiet. But as soon as I got into bed, my beeper went
off and I was called to the
ER to see and admit a very ill child. I was so worn out, I
cry. My husband looked at me with pity in his eyes as if to
you brought this on yourself.’ I left upset and angry and
I still did not believe him or his theory, but he planted a seed
As I began to examine my life, I realized several
things. My family of origin had always been very busy, industrious
are many good things about that. We accomplished much. People
were always amazed at how much we could get done as a family
were always complimenting us. My father did not believe we
should sit and “do nothing.” Relaxing was something for
those who were slothful. There was always “something you
could accomplish” or someone we could be helping.
to realize that I had a deep-rooted belief that I was not valuable
unless I was busy, unless someone needed me or unless
I accomplished something. I painfully learned that I was the
cause of my own hectic and chaotic life. I attracted the hectic
and stressful circumstances I needed to make me feel valuable.
I certainly did not do this deliberately. I consciously resented
being so busy. I had young children and I deeply desired to
spend more time with them. I desperately wanted time-out, but
of my beliefs, I could not rest.
That recognition was a turning point in my life. As soon as
I recognized my erroneous beliefs, God healed me by revealing
to me, and
my circumstances began to change.
First of all, I began to verbalize
what I wanted to see. The first thing I did was to renounce
the negative things people
me or my circumstances. As soon as the nurses or physicians
would say, “I know this is going to be a horrible night because
Sharon is on-call,” I would immediately refute that and
tonight. Tonight is going to be a peaceful, restful night.” Things
were better immediately. Does that mean I stopped having admissions
and emergencies? No, but now my periods on-call were no different
than that of most physicians. I also began to take more responsibility
for my decisions. I confronted my partners about the unrealistic
weekend call schedule and insisted that we change it to something
more practical and beneficial for all of us.
More and more I
realized how my beliefs and attitudes shaped my life. I learned
to find my value in my worth to God rather than
in my accomplishments. I began to verbalize into my life what
I wanted to experience instead of repeating the lies I learned
I grew up or the values and ideologies I passively assimilated
from the culture in which I was immersed.
Look at your life. Do
you like what you see? If not, search to uncover what it is
you really believe. If what you believe does
not agree with what you desire, determine to change what you