firetender.org thestoryofthis.net artforhealers.com
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I knew from the beginning I was tackling a big subject. As a writer by nature I was compelled to articulate my experience. That turned into a 25 year exploration! The themes exposed during my times in EMS seemed beyond the simplicity of life and
death and traveled into that gray zone, the space in-between where choice lives.
What better ringside seat could there be than in the back of an ambulance?
But that's the kind of stuff you didn't talk about in the 1980's when this all played
out. Oddly enough, little has changed! The truths I learned had more to do with relationship than technique. My lessons were not about medicine, but about
myself. Along the way I got to save a few lives.
All these esoteric lessons were learned while performing in one of the most technically precise, regulated and overseen professions on the planet. It is also largely overlooked and largely invisible to the public at large.
The dominant culture that supports the profession minimizes, denies, discourages or out and out persecutes those who allow themselves to experience themselves as human beings while doing their work. The party line is that having your human experience lessens your ability to perform as the Flesh Mechanic you're trained to be.
The purpose of my book is to reach anyone working with human beings in life and death situations. Using Emergency Medical Services as a metaphor, I believe I reflect many of the internal conflicts that my fellow practitioners experience.
Like them, things get sprung on me. Like them, sometimes I don't respond so graciously. Like them, I do very weird things just to really know what I'm in the midst of. Like them, sometimes I hurt, and hurt badly. Like them, sometimes I agonize, sometimes I abuse. And, like them, people may have died by choices I made.
Things like this are mentioned all the time. But the culture assigns it "vent" status and encourages our peers to make light, make disgusting, make funny or make anything of it other than the multifaceted expression of the human experience that it is. Sure, you can say it, but there's always someone there to deflect you from feeling it. Taking it one step deeper is something you do alone, without support, reflection or comfort being offered.
For me, those extracurricula journies into rugged personal territory made the trip worthwhile. Those years in the back of an ambulance informed every moment I spent in the healing arts since. This is my statement that stuff like this matters. That YOU matter and deserve support from your peers to really explore the world you've chosen to occupy.
Through that exploration, you will discover that your powers as a healer go way beyond anything you've been trained to deliver.
Of course, there's a catch here: I'm asking you to make the first move! Because movement begins with YOU.
I'm not kidding. Go through this website and check out the book and explore more of the themes here. Then, next time one of your peers starts to broach a subject that involves pain, confusion, hurt, tears, anger, frustration, wonder, wordlessness, or despair, don't say anything. Listen again to the echoes of what you just heard.
Notice if there was emotional content to it. Just make room by taking it seriously,
and then, look inside and share your own humanity.
It's for ALL of us!