“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come
alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who
have come alive.” – Joseph Campbell
I have a deep sense that I am part of a web of life, connected to all living things in crucial ways. A web that I believe is being eroded by our current global practices including those of a spiritual, political and environmental nature. My beliefs drive how I live my life from the sometimes complicated commitment towards conservation all the way to my striving towards being honest and respectful towards all that is living. It drives a dedication to education of children and I was successful in raising a conscientious son. I support humanitarian causes around the world as well as in my profession.
How did I come to this belief? I grew up in a comfortable middle class home with young parents who loved me and two younger siblings. I was taught mainly by examples of fairness in interactions as well as teachings that people were equal, no matter what their skin color. In the early 1950’s I was a fair skinned red headed toddler, holding my black baby doll. Later I was surrounded by animals, both as pets or ones rescued with the strong bond to all things living beginning early.
It is no wonder that with a nurturing sensibility I was drawn to the healing profession of medicine. I became a nurse in the 1970’s where I worked in the ICU then oncology and later returned to graduate school to become a family nurse practitioner. In these roles I always viewed people irrespective of gender, socioeconomic position or ethnicity, giving care based on the inherent dignity of the person. And while I am not faultless and have noted personalities that are challenging to work with, I hold that we are all equal in worth.
I am passionate about life, although the display may be muted with my introversion and a sense of privacy. There have been several opportunities for emotional reflection on my mortal condition. These moments awakened me to life’s essence, its joys, and the miracles around me. Once, a near-miss with death occurred when a drunk driver hit me at high speeds, totaling the car that I and my young son were riding in. Years later, another assault when diagnosed with malignant melanoma followed one year later by thyroid cancer. In all cases life was spared but the fragility of life, the import of doing what is essential for my well being and the significance of trying to eliminate that which is life-draining, as well as a goal for not settling for the mediocre, became clear.
The need for reawakening those deeply buried imaginative parts of my soul became paramount. Honoring my creativity, my thoughts brings me closer to my core, conveys me closer to my connection with the universal, making me alive and as such more connected to others.
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