Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reviewing Self

At least once a day we need to look within ourselves and do a thorough review of who we are, how we are functioning, what our focus is, and what we want to create in our lives. I have been doing this little self-test for most of my adult life and I never cease to be amazed at how good it makes me feel to know who I am, where I am going, how I want to get there, and how much time it is going to take for me to meet my goals. We should do frequent reviews to make certain that we are following the path that works for us and that is going to make us feel good about what we do. One thing that I have learned is that we cannot always depend upon the amount of money that we make as the token of our success. I find it more encouraging to look at the lives that I touch and help along my journey, than to look at the bottom line in terms of money return. This is not necessarily a smart way to do business, but it is a way to help people who are not in the highest income bracket of life. There is also a great deal of satisfaction in seeing a face light up because their pain has left their body.

The joy of my life is my nervous system. When I say this most people look at me as though I have just declared my death warrant, but it is more like a life warrant than anything else could ever be. When I was a child I had rheumatic fever very badly, which didn’t even begin to subside until several months after I had a tonsillectomy (at 16). When I was a child there was no penicillin or any other drug to treat Strep Throat, which was considered to be the primary cause of rheumatic fever at the time. The theory must have been correct because the entire concept of rheumatic fever is only a memory today in civilized countries rather than a childhood epidemic. Having my tonsils out literally changed my life and allowed me to run, walk, play, and work without intense pain. Learning to live without the severe pain always being present in my joints and in my body was a revelation to me.

I had always wanted to be a nurse. When I was two years old I told my parents that when I grew up I was going to be a nurse. They were stunned because they could not understand where or how I learned the word nurse. In addition, they looked at their sick child that was always on the verge of death and wondered where and how I could ever be well enough to pursue being a “nurse,” while I was deathly sick with rheumatic fever. It was confusing to them to have me speak about something that was foreign to my experience and age at the time, especially in the relationship that I verbalized in how to relate it to an adult life and the concept of health. That was my beginning declaration into the concept of making nursing my chosen career. I never faltered in my intention, and happily I fulfilled my own challenge in May 1951. It was not always easy, but in relationship to the pain that I had experienced in my early life, I was now living essentially a “pain-free” life.

Later I learned how controversial pain can be. My level of pain was simply my level of pain which I learned to tolerate and to grow within. Later in my life, when I became essentially pain-free, I could not believe the divine difference between agony and pleasure. How can anyone equate that difference without living it?

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