I believe in the pulse of life and the spirit that drives it.
I earn my living as an anesthesiologist and everyday, I see the force of life in the body. The bodies I see have been marked by disease, trauma, neglect, the stress of living. Time and again, the capacity of the human body to withstand insult has been shown to me. I watch over the heart and lungs as they manuever this stress and more often than not, guide the body to heal. My work experience and study gave me confidence to be part of this process.
But these days I believe there is a different pulse that really creates life.
Many times in my career I had been witness to the courage, strength and love that comes out the drama that an illness or surgery can be. I always felt admiration for the courage of a cancer patient going through yet another procedure. I felt humbled by the love of a parent holding their scared child’s hand as they wheeled away for their tonsillectomy and I felt the sanctity of life as I saw the tremendous grief of families as they learned that their loved one did not survive the bad car wreck despite our best efforts. I watched, I was touched and I tried to bring these lessons of spirit into my practice.
When my marriage of eighteen years fell apart, I lost this spirit. My illness was shame, remorse, anger and grief. In an instant, it seemed, the life I had known, the everyday joys and annoyances, hopes and dreams were gone. My body marched on alone.
Slowly, there has emerged a new spirit in me. A spirit born out of only the understanding of one who has suffered…. I no longer watch passively these bodies that come before me, admiring from a distance. My ears have picked up the sound of a new pulse. A soft steady pulse too often buried by the business of our so carefully constructed lives.
I had never heard this pulse before. A slow beat revealed so often by an illness, a disaster, a trauma. Now it is the loudest pulse I hear. This pulse to me is our connection to each other and to life. The everyday ordinariness of life goes on, but now there is a new presence.
So, this I believe; there is a pulse to living. It is a pulse born of compassion, love, connection. If we take the time to listen…..really listen, we can hear its soft lub dub and that is enough.
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