By Renee, an Ex-Christian Scientist Group contributor.
I am a medical assistant at a health and wellness practice. Recently at work we started this 30-day affirmation challenge. I read through all of the materials and was instantly troubled. The document was something along the lines of ‘Positive Affirmations for a Healthy, Happy Life.’ I am usually a fairly upbeat, laid-back person, but these types of things bring out the worst in me.
There was this one line towards the end: “I believe in the perfect outcome of every situation in my life.” Ummm, no thank you. We were also encouraged to wear a green rubber band and every time we said or thought something negative, we were supposed to pop the rubber band and switch wrists. My ex-Christian Scientist heart just ached over the thought of doing this. I was not willing to punish myself for having an honest thought or feeling.
I went straight to my boss and told her that I really appreciated the thought of what management was trying to accomplish and that I think that having a cheerful disposition when dealing with our patients is essential. At the same time, when someone is hurting they need compassion, and validation that they hurt and are sick, not to pretend that everything is fine. My boss is also a very close friend, so I kind of leaned on her desk and told her that it took me 25 years before I was really free to say that I didn’t feel well or that I was unhappy and many more years beyond that of digging through the damage those 25 years cost me. I flat out stated that I would not participate.
She looked at me like I had suddenly grown a horn out of my forehead. She didn’t understand. Everyone looks to me for direction. I keep the medical staff lifted up and I am always an ear for others. How could I not want to do this when I am the one always cheering everyone on? This is right up my alley! Blah, blah, blah… She literally was horrified that I had told her this.
Here we go again. I’m the kid sitting in the hallway doing a worksheet because my classmates are studying human biology and it conflicts with my religious beliefs. But this time, somehow, in the reverse, and I’m still the odd man out. How is that? But I have stayed to true to myself and not participated, even though to do so brings a different sort of discomfort in trade.