We all want to change the world, we all want to make it a better place –or, at least, most of us claim we do and I really hope most mean it. However, there’s a common misconception that to do so, one must do something major. Well, yesterday –which was both excruciatingly painful and incredibly inspirational and enlightening—put into perspective just how untrue that notion is.
This past weekend, I underwent IVIG treatment for PANS for the second time (a subject to be discussed more later but, in short, my immune system started attacking my brain mistakenly in response to a Lyme coinfection. So, despite overcoming Lyme and coinfections, I am now in the process of overcoming PANS, and overcome I shall. No doubt). Of all the unfortunate side effects of IVIG, the two I am most prone to are aseptic meningitis and crazy, blinding headaches. This time, we tweaked things, attempting to avoid meningitis. However, despite our attempts, my inability to lift my head without screaming or to turn on any light or noise for the past two days without cringing …meaning I have been laying still in the dark until now… showed us (my IV nurse, family, and self) I am just susceptible to those effects, period.
ANYWAY, on to the point of my post. This time around, I was assigned a nurse who I have dubbed an angel on earth; and the past two days spent in complete silence and darkness could have been horrible but I chose to think of them as 48 hours of meditation instead …and this is what I learned: After my angel of a nurse learned of my pain, he rushed over to remedy it and literally had me sitting upright and laughing in minutes. Not exaggerating. No joke.
The most amazing thing about it was that he did not hesitate to rush to my bedside, he did not act as if I was a burden since I wasn’t on his schedule and since, quite frankly, he was not obligated to help me at all past the first two days of infusions. Nonetheless, he saved the day, and went on to say he would be checking on me daily and calling my doctor daily to make sure I get what I need (he wasn’t lying. It sounded too good to be true, but my angel has seriously gone to bat for me). More astoundingly, he has been and continues to be so upbeat, so caring, so genuinely compassionate.
The more I observed his genuine compassionate nature, the more I realized that’s what I want to do with my life, that’s the type of person I want to be. So, when people ask what I want to do with the rest of my life, my new answer is not career based. It’s simply “I want to be a genuinely compassionate person”. I also realized (laying still in silence gives you A LOT of time to contemplate…) that THAT indeed is our truest nature. We don’t have to strive to be it once we realize we are it –genuine, compassionate beings.
What’s more, is when we model such behavior, we inspire others to do the same. That my friends is how we change the world, one seemingly tiny act at a time –by aligning with our true nature and acting out of genuine compassion, thus inspiring others to do the same, who then inspire others …and so the cycle goes on and on. It’s not some grand scale thing we must do to change the world for the better, it’s far simpler (although perhaps paradoxically harder if one has strayed quite far from their truest selves). Our main job, if we wish to better the world, is to act from a source of genuine compassion, changing the world one person at a time. Period.
So, although I endured painful days, they ultimately led to an awakening …and as the saying goes “wasted pain is pain spent in vain. Pain utilized for growth is not spent in vain, and is every bit worth it” or something like that, I may have made up some of it. Whatever. Anyway, I fell asleep last night inspired by a lesson that will never leave me and that I know is crucial to my future, and crucial to being the type of person I want to be.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world,
but no one thinks of changing himself.”