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Healing Our Hurts

Healing Our Hurts

When we forgive others, we are concomitantly healing ourselves [7].
We project onto others how we see ourselves and the world. In
truth, when we forgive and accept others are they are—imperfect,
flawed humans who are struggling but doing the best they can
under their current circumstances—we can begin to look at
with more compassion. When we can begin to see others
with loving, compassionate and kind eyes, our gaze upon ourselves
will be more forgiving.
Resilient people are quick to forgive themselves, recognizing
that every human makes mistakes and that one occasional misstep
is to be expected. The resilient person furthermore places failure in
perspective and recognizes that there are many conditions that are
merely of our control (Fig. 3.1). For example, the wound infection
could easily have been explained by an unsuspected autoclave failure,
not a breach in technique. Similarly, the hematoma may have
been truly due to the failure of the patient to report aspirin use the
day before surgery; not a result of inadequate surgical hemostasis.
Finally, those that have cultivated self-compassion recognize that
they are not their mistakes. One blunder does not lead to overgeneralizations
and self-condemnation. For example, an errant move in
the surgery will be framed by the resilient surgeon as “I made a
miscalculation in judging the configuration of the fracture.” A surgeon
afflicted with a dearth of self-compassion may react to the
same event with negative self-talk such as “I am a terrible surgeon”
or “only mediocre surgeons commit such mistakes.”