Recently I found myself in the hospital with acute appendicitis. After my appendix was removed, I had a several-day hospital stay recovering from the surgery.
In the book “A Stroke of Insight,” Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, the author and a brain scientist experienced a stroke and recovery. Jill talks about how clearly she saw and felt different people’s energies as they came into her hospital room; sometimes their energy was very painful and sometimes it was very loving and supportive.
I realized as I went through my own experience in the hospital that I wanted be very conscious of the energy coming into and going out of the room. I wanted a fully conscious, fully participatory experience.
There were many people who came in and out those three days – doctors, nurses, clean-up people, dietary people. And what I discovered was this: while everyone did their jobs with kindness, there were some people who truly stood out.
One night, in particular, I awoke, my bed drenched in sweat, and extremely nauseous with a few other issues. I called for the nurse and she came immediately. And with great care and compassion she helped me to the rest room, helped me get clean, with a fresh gown, and helped me cool my face with a wet washcloth. She was filled with compassion and kindness. Her name was Linda. I remember her clearly. I remember her compassion; I remember her love.
Linda called someone to change the sheets on my bed. And she came and put the bed together. I remember watching her from the chair. She seemed very distracted, looking out at the nurses’ station frequently, doing her job, but something felt off to me. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but rather crawled back into bed just grateful for clean sheets and a clean gown, grateful for the kindness that had been shown to me, grateful for the anti-nausea drugs I had been given.
The next day, after the shift had changed and Linda had gone home, Diane replaced her: Diane, who had told me the day before that I could have another gown to cover up my backside as I walked down the hall. (Apparently, I had been giving people a bit of a view of my tushie on one of my very slow walks around the halls!) She was a delightful nurse, filled with life and humor, with an easy smile. I was delighted she was my nurse for the day and we bonded quickly.
There were several times when I needed Diane’s help during that day for I was struck with a lot of nausea all throughout the day. I was told it was a symptom of the anesthesia that I had undergone during the surgery. And during that day as I sweated, for I had a fever, I drenched my bed clothes again and again. And Charita, the beautiful assistant, changed the sheets on my bed several times that day.
And what I noticed was that when she changed the sheets on my bed, she did so with such great care and love that when I looked at that bed and I knew I felt honored to be crawling into it; I felt the love of her hands, I felt the love from her heart in that bed … I felt her care and compassion.
I felt so cared for and so loved in numerous things this particular team did: the making of my bed, bringing me ice chips and juice, wetting the washcloth with cool water for me, and checking in on me to see how I was doing. Those small acts of kindness filled me with such gratitude; I knew that I was being cared for by the Divine through these beautiful women.
In your daily life, where are you doing small things with great love? Even if you think someone does not notice, I promise you they do. You do not know where your beautiful seeds of love are taking root and are filling someone’s life, are filling someone’s heart, are filling someone’s mind with the love that you are.
You see, if you were to ask Diane or Linda or Charita, they would probably say they were just doing their job. And they were. But to me, it was so much more than that. They were being love. They were being compassion. They were being grace. And their love and compassion and grace made what could have been a very difficult time transform into a delightful, beautiful experience.
Today, notice where you offer someone else your love by doing even the smallest thing with great love. Notice where you step into being love. Pay attention and see your world transform as those seeds of love take root and blossom.