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Mindful : February 2018
Although compassion isn’t a magic remedy for all that ails you, it’s a first step toward calming your mind and opening your heart. The Kindness Cure I’m waiting for my doctor’s appointment. There’s no urgency to this checkup, nothing to fear, yet my frustration and boredom grow every minute as I watch my morning go to waste. Can someone please tell me what’s going on? Or even better, get my visit started? As I sit, I’m trying to organize my thoughts for a talk on compassion, which reminds me that any moment is a good moment to step out of autopilot. How can I write about compassion while my head is spinning with frustration? It helps to remind myself that, no matter how well or poorly other people seem to be handling life, everyone is struggling: me, my doctor, the other patients in the waiting room, and the support staff in the building. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mark Bertin, MD, is a developmental pediatrician and author of Mindful Parenting for ADHD. Right now I happen to be the patient. In my practice as a medical doctor, though, I’ve observed the same need: A little compassion can go a long way. Nobody wants to be stuck in the waiting room. We all want to get on with our day. But it’s here, now, that we have a chance to offer compassion instead of pushing back. When we feel powerless, this practice can lessen our sense of isolation and help us feel more con- nected and purposeful. We can start by reframing our self-talk, asking, How would I relate to my best friend right now? Personally, I might say, “Make the best of the situation; fighting it can’t help.” But how am I relating to myself? By in essence lamenting— What an affront to me; why doesn’t someone → WE ALL WANT TO GET ON WITH OUR DAY. BUT IT’S HERE, NOW, THAT WE HAVE A CHANCE TO OFFER COMPAS- SION INSTEAD OF PUSHING BACK. By Mark Ber tin • Illustrations by Elizabeth Dejure Wood 24 mindful February 2018 LIVING | mindful md