I learned anew how utterly simple and vital being willing is to living life as sacred. As usual, the eye opening awareness came when I least expected it in the midst of ‘chopping wood and carrying water’ or, entering daily life and its tasks mindfully.
As a volunteer, I visit a patient who usually watches t.v. while I am visiting with him. I have come to accept that the t.v. is his everyday companion and distraction whereas, I am a visitor – a stranger who stops in.
Recently, the organization I volunteer for informed me that this patient no longer required our services and that as a volunteer it was up to me whether or not to keep visiting this patient. It presented me with a bit of a conundrum, as this is a challenging patient visit for lots of reasons but most especially, the t.v. blaring during my visits and a sense of uncertainty that the visits support him.
I opted to visit as usual and simply ask him what he would like. I decided to share that as a volunteer I was giving my time freely and would be happy to continue if he wanted or to stop if he would prefer. I truly was not sure how he would feel.
As I entered his room, he seemed genuinely pleased to see me. Apparently, he was aware of the change in his status with our services. I began to explain the situation regarding my visits to him when he picked up his remote – he would often change channels for a better t.v. show during my visits – and turned the television off.
I thanked him for turning the television off. We visited. We conversed. We were with each other.
As I got to my car, I sat still and just held what had happened in my heart. He turned the television off OMG! I spent my day holding this close, wondering at the beauty of life and the amazing wings of hope– his and mine.
I sit with this amazing truth and perceive its deeper meaning. I am in awe of this patient’s willingness to be, willingness to surrender, willingness to open. It evokes a similar, corresponding willingness in me to be, to surrender and to open. To be fully human with each other. I am grateful beyond words for learning this from him when I least expected it.
Life is precious and quite beautiful especially if we can be willing.