A Difficult Case

When someone judges us
a “difficult
it can be easy
to blame ourselves
for being
a “difficult,

While this may mean
there is something extraordinary
about us,
it also means
that someone with greater skills
will not not judge us
a “difficult

p.s: This was inspired by a meeting with a doctor who called my wife a “difficult case,” while asking her to work with another doctor with more experience and skill. An unfortunately common case of compassion without empathy, displayed by many of us, including yours truly, when we take on the role of caregiving.


we discover in hindsight,
that we have wasted our energy
on a distraction.

When this happens,
it may be easy to blame ourselves
for not having had

But without a clear direction,
what counts as distraction
and what does not
may only become obvious
in hindsight.

To decide with foresight
may we gain clarity of direction
to helps us discern
what counts as distraction
and what does not.

May we choose
to take responsibility
instead of blaming ourselves.

Isolation and Shame

When we feel
we can also feel

We think
‘After all,
if I’m the only one
on this path,
who‘s to say
I’m not lost?’

When we feel
traveling a path
of our own choice
we can also feel

We think
‘If I got lost
by going my way
then clearly
it’s my fault
and something
is wrong
with me.

To be Human

The Chinese character
for a human being (人)
are two strokes
one another.

What if
it is difficult
to be human
without support?

What if
our blaming of others
for behaving less than human
only isolates them
making it even harder
for them
to be human?

What if…?

Preemptive Blaming

“They’re going to be quick
to blame me.”
said the founder,
of the employees’ backlash.

“How would it be different,
if you were quicker?”
I asked.

“What do you mean?”
he asked.

“How would it be different,
if you were even quicker
than them?”
I asked again,
with emphasis.

he asked.

I sat there,

“You mean if I were to blame myself
before they did?”

I waited.

Silence ensued.

“… You’re talking about
taking responsibility.”
The reply came back,

Being Strong

At our first session,
she would habitually use the word
to refer to herself.

“To be strong,”
she said,
“I should
Stop worrying and,
Focus on problem solving.
I should
Stop blaming my employees and,
Blame myself.”

On the surface,
these sounded wonderful,
virtuous, even.

But after a month
of realizing empathy
with herself,
she discovered that
by “strong”
all she meant was
“numb to pain & discomfort.”

There’s a world of difference
between following advice
and realizing for one’s self
through a journey
of maturation.

A journey through which we learn

or unexpected

Without the journey,
“stop worrying,”
can merely mean
“repress stress & anxiety.”

“Focus on problem solving,”
can merely mean
“focus on eliminating fear & concern.”

“Blame myself,”
can merely mean
“lead with unconscious shame.”

To frame these phenomena
as someone’s “fault”
a deeper exploration.

More valuable
would be to recognize what happens
when we lack
a sense of choice
or proper support.