What if our purpose in life has nothing to do with what we achieve?
What if our purpose is to make a difference in someone’s life without knowing we made any difference at all?
I was really touched when I read the article, Oprah Reflects on the Act of Kindness That Changed Her Life: “I’ll Take It to My Grave”.
It reminded me of the story of a 5-year-old girl. To this day, when I think about this little girl’s story it brings tears to my eyes.
This little girl was a shy and quiet young soul. She grew up in a home with parents who loved her very much but they didn’t know how to show love or compassion.
One day this little girl was sent outside to play with her sister and the other kids. They were playing a game of tag and one of the neighborhood girls was known to be quite the bully.
The bully decided that she was going to teach the young, shy girl a lesson and hit her in the head with a stick that had a nail in it.
The little five-year-old girl ended up in the emergency room to get stitches on her head.
This shy soul was sitting all alone on a cold, big stretcher waiting for her stitches. No parent, sibling, friend, or anyone else was there to comfort her and hold her hand.
All she could see was black because she had a cloth over her face to create a sterile field for the stitches.
As she sat in the darkness – terrified and alone a hand reached out and gently began rubbing her arm.
A Nurse (or maybe an Angel) that seemed to have arisen out of nowhere, sat with this little girl. As she held the little girl’s hand, she quietly said, “You’re not alone. I’m here with you and won’t leave. You’re going to be okay.”
The little girl didn’t feel all alone anymore. She could feel the love and kindness coming from the Nurse although she never saw her face. She had no idea what she looked like, but that didn’t matter. It was about how she felt. She felt compassion for the first time in her young life.
The seeds of compassion had been watered and it changed her life forever.
Years later, this shy and quiet girl became a Nurse.
When someone asked her, “What made you become a Nurse?”
The Nurse replied, “Because when I was a little girl, it was the kindness and love of a Nurse that helped alleviate my suffering. It was a mystical experience, that changed my life. That Nurse will likely never realize the impact that she had on me. It’s because of her that I became a Nurse.”
This story about the little girl that became a Nurse was my story.
It’s how I know to the depths of my soul that compassion and presence heal people. It is a way of being that links our souls together.
When the nurse sat with me, I didn’t feel pity – because pity doesn’t feel like compassion. I felt a sense of knowing that we were in this together and that I’m not alone.
She wasn’t there to fix it; she was there to be a loving presence because she too had experienced suffering and knew what it felt like.
I was called to be a Nurse because of that mystical experience that forever changed my life. I didn’t pick Nursing, “It” picked me.
That moment was an invitation from something bigger than myself summoning me to what would become my life’s path.
To help alleviate the suffering in the world so we can live with a deeper sense of peace. A journey that began with looking deeply into my own suffering and creating meaning around the pieces of my life.
The following quote is a value that I hold close to my heart:
“To whom much is given, much will be required.” (Luke 12:48).
I have been given many gifts in my life and I know that they’re meant to be received by me and shared with others.
We all have gifts and it becomes our deepest calling to connect with and develop our gifts.
In moments when I get confused about the purpose of my life, I reflect back to that mystical experience in the emergency room.
When my soul was touched by a small act of compassion that changed the course of my life, by creating light in me when I was sitting in the darkness.
It was a mystical moment of grace.
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