Today, 3/11/18 marks 5 years since I started my work in the hospital as a Registered Nurse. A low-mid estimate puts the number of patients that I have taken care of during that time to over 4,000! I feel honored that I have been part of so many people’s story. And I hope that I have positively touched their lives in some way. Their stories are now interwoven with mine, and all the time they give me the priceless first-hand experience that we are all connected. That all of our challenges despite how seemingly different, all turn us into humans with similar baggage and triggers to overcome in this life.
No matter the person looking back at me from the hospital bed or crib, I have seen the beauty of their souls. We are not our experiences or our stories. We are not what we have been through. But at the same time, our experiences work to shape us into the people we came here to be. So rather than getting lost in our personal stories of tragedies and triumphs, we are meant to use those times to move us to help make the world around us a better place. When I decided to go into nursing, I was a patient in the hospital recovering from a heart surgery. I asked the nurses taking care of me what their experience had been in nursing school and if they were happy with their decision to become a nurse. I asked them about their work schedule and about how they manage with having kids while being a nurse. I chose to use my experience to become a Nurse in hopes that I could alleviate some of the fears that I knew my patients would be feeling in the hospital. I am so grateful that even in the midst of going through my own health crisis, that I was given the strength and perseverance to get through school and these last 5 years as a Nurse.
I know that my main purpose in this life is to help people on their healing journeys in whatever way I can. For 5 years, it has solely been as a nurse in the hospital. I started out in reverse, taking care of adults, some of which died during my shifts, and then moved on to my current position where I sometimes care for brand new babies just entering the world. I am grateful that I have been an intimate part of the full circle of life. The birth to the death, each are sacred as they are the entering of the soul into the body, and then the exiting of the soul from the body. But the soul never dies. It is born, it grows and transforms, and then moves onto its next journey. After all, everything is made up of energy, the divine life-force energy that moves through everything, and energy is never destroyed.
When I hit my 3 year mark, I wrote this on my Facebook page, which is a beautiful way to share my experience: “I’ve witnessed the strength of the human spirit and body. I’ve been a witness to pain with perseverance, death as a natural part of life, people holding onto hope, and people staying positive regardless of circumstance. I’ve supported families as their loved one took their last breath, and also as their baby took their first. It has been amazing. It has been stressful. And it has helped put everything that happens in my own life into perspective.”
What are some ways that you have used your own, personal challenges in life to do good for other people, or for the world around you? How has your life been positively influenced by a nurse in your own story? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!