You are where you need to be. Trust in your gut and in the process. Trust your values and your intuition. I’ve been stuck holding onto the idea that one day I will be awakened and will finally get it. Finally, I will get what OT is and thus be fulfilled and accomplished in my work. But I’m learning to let go of the idea that the end is a place that doesn’t actually exist and there is beauty in that. I am beginning to lean into the process.
And during this process, I have also learnt that we have yet to leverage our super power as OTs. We have been busily trying to fit into the medical model, to define ourselves in the existing industry culture, wanting to feel valued whilst not having the clarity we need to confidently communicate the true impact of our work. So fixed on goals, outcomes, competence and performance components. All the while our super power lies in wait. The thing that sets us apart. The thing that is integral to all humans yet we set it aside because it is too confusing and complex, it can’t be easily measured and it is difficult to research, it is challenging to explain and it goes against much of the way the rest of the health industry sees people. It is so different for every individual. Yet at the same time, it is the thing that is the absolute centre to how a person exists in the world. The thing that above all else will have the biggest impact on their life. It requires us to be curious and bring a sense of unknowing to uncover. It needs us to walk alongside and ask good questions. It needs us to accept that we don’t have the answers.
I’m talking about a person’s identity. The way they see themselves in the world and experience it. The things that bring joy and are important to them. Their experiences of the past and the views of the future. This is part of OT practice but my sense is we have hidden it and shielded it for so long because we are scared of its messiness and lack of credibility it might lead to. But recently, I have begun to lead with identity in my work by always keeping their narrative at the forefront of any work that I do and amongst all the doubt and unknowing, it feels more right than my work ever has. I believe that by leading with identity we can change the world.
So right now, you are where you need to be on your journey. Continue to show up with kindness, courage and curiosity. Together, we can rediscover the heart and soul of OT then change the world one person at a time.
Oh and the process is everything (that’s me reminding myself).