Trash in My Own Yard

I have recently witnessed a few serious events of friends that make me want to go into other peoples’ lives (yards) and help them clean up their trash. I assume they can’t see it, won’t do it correctly or would do all things differently if they were able. I am such a great codependent, I want to jump in and fix it all, as if I know what they need.

A couple of them are in denial about what they are dealing with. Another is totally clueless. No matter what, it is not my business. I have to firmly RESIST the impulse to get in there and tell them what they are doing wrong. I have tried to rationalize that I am teaching. As an RN, this is a common theme. I call it support, education, helping, or being there. I actually think I know better than they do about their life. It also makes me feel needed and useful.

I figure I have learned to manage some life challenges, so they should do that too. I have also learned that it is not my job to facilitate someone else’s ah-ha’s. “It’s not my journey.” is my new mantra for living. I am not good at moving in and out of the piles, so I am mostly sitting outside the yard. I can support at a distance, instead of sitting with them in their piles of trash. I can provide health information, emotional support and back away. What I need to do is look in my own backyard instead of worrying about everyone else’s. Whose yard are you sitting in?!


Posted by Susan Odegaard Turner – MentorRN


About Turner Healthcare
As CEO and founder of the consulting firm, Turner Healthcare Associates, Inc. since 1993, Dr. Turner continuously implements the skills gleaned from over thirty five years of experience in the healthcare field. She began her career as a registered nurse in a Critical Care Unit and Emergency Department. She has served in top management roles, including Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, for various hospitals throughout Southern California. Dr. Turner was also appointed the first Statewide Nursing Officer for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Dr. Turner is an Associate Professor for the UCLA Graduate School of Nursing, Moorpark Community College, and has served as the Health Career expert for for six years. Currently, Dr. Turner provides career coaching, planning, and advisement. She specializes in helping young adults seeking healthcare careers and individuals in transition, such as older RNs. In addition to her Bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing from Mount St. Mary's College, Los Angeles, she holds a Master's Degree in Nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master's of Business Administration from California Lutheran University. She received her Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Business Administration from California Southern University. Her doctoral dissertation discussed the ramifications of clinical re-engineering of nursing services in the 1990’s. Dr. Turner is the author of numerous articles in national healthcare journals as well as the “The Nurse’s Guide to Managed Care,” and “The Nursing Career Planning Guide,” both published by Jones-Bartlett.

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