Note from Elise: While I’m traveling, I have invited several guests to post their thoughts for you. I think you’ll enjoy their ideas and unique voices. At the end of each post, you can read a brief bio about the guest author. Enjoy!
When I was a new graduate nurse working in a large University Hospital Intensive Care Unit, I noticed an elderly patient dying. It was in the middle of the night and no one was at her bedside. I thought how awful to die alone. Compassion motivated me to go to her.
I went to her bedside and held her hand. Her straight-line heart rate on the monitor immediately started beating in a normal heart rate. I didn’t make the connection that my hand holding caused this until the nurse at the bedside said to me, “Don’t ever touch one of my dying patients again.” I thought about this for a long time. My innocent feeling of Compassion had become an energy that jolted this woman’s heart to beat. She lived for 3 more days and died in the daytime with her family present.
This experience has encouraged my study of compassion. Compassion is an all-encompassing expression of concern, love, presence and a way to be detached. It is not considered an emotion. When I feel compassion I am not in my mind. There is a feeling of wholeness. Compassion is a softer feeling than Love. Compassion can be synonymous with Love but has a more expansive, detached feeling. Love is used as an endearing term for relatives, friends and objects. Compassion suggests more concern for the well-being of the situation. It brings in a more nurturing, caring feeling.
An Indian Saint, Amma, was recently asked if the earth will end in 2012. Her reply to the question was, “When there is no compassion for the Earth, then the Earth will die.” Let us grow in Compassion so that the Earth and its inhabitants are nurtured and prosper.
Celeste has been a Registered Nurse for 36 years. She is a certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse and works in a Pediatric ICU. She also teaches nursing at a Community College. Celeste is aware of her healing abilities and uses them in her practice of nursing.