Identifying and searching for the core sense of oneself is not an easy task. The irony in this is that the more I contemplate this, the more fragile I feel. However, I can say that the emphasis should not be on discovering who I am and the multiple layers that includes, but on facilitating what I find to be meaningful and what I would like to experience with my time on this earth. My identity is a continuous process rather than a static snapshot. I find myself continuously rethinking, reconsidering, and reframing myself as I grow older and as I gain more life experience. More importantly, after my journey through this accelerated nursing program, I now find myself asking an additional question, which is how do I want to share my energy and engage life?
I believe this life we have is a gift, something that should not be taken for granite, something that is delicate, and not always fair. However, if you are able to find your truth, your passion, your purpose, then you are truly living.
Subsequently, to answer this question I feel that I have to start at the beginning. I grew up in a family that showed me continuous love, support, and respect. As a mother now, I can’t but feel forever blessed and thankful for my family and the foundation they gave me. I feel privileged to grow up in a home that was based on love. I was introduced to parochial schooling as early as kindergarten. Setting the religious aspect aside, to this day I feel that catholic school gave me structure and rooted me in how I view the world around me. I was taught respect, compassion, patience, and self-awareness. I know that has shaped me into the person I am today.
I became a mother to a healthy, precious little girl not quite 1 year ago. This changed me. I am a better person for it. My husband and I married at the age of 27, so we had time to explore the world, each other, and do things on our time and with no one to answer to. However, looking back now, I feel that I became self-involved and I knew there was something more I wanted for my life. My rainbow baby Blakely, gave me a new sense of purpose and a new direction to use my fire within. I can’t express how much love I have for this little human being. Let’s just say my fire within burns brighter, higher, and hotter than ever before.
My ideals I strive to live my life by are ones of love, understanding, generosity, and respect for all things living. I try to not take my precious time for granite and always be thankful for my health and wellness. I live for my family and for those relationships and connections I make throughout life. I live for adventure and experiencing as many different cultures and parts of the world as I can. I live to help others and use my passion of nursing to facilitate this. I live to give back to those that are in need. I live to understand my purpose. I live to learn from my mistakes and forgive myself. I live to learn and gain knowledge about the world around me. I live to share what God has given me, in hopes to leave this earth slightly better than I found it.
What I live by and for will channel my life energies to accomplish my life mission. Perhaps I haven’t figured out all the channels I will navigate to complete this, but I think that’s what life it all about. I will use my energy to be present in life and to do good. I can’t help but think of my Grandma who has passed when I think of this because she was very spiritual. We may have a different sense of spirituality, but she was grounded in hers and I always admired that about her. I will use my passions to better myself and contribute my talents to those whom I can serve. I think nursing is a channel for me to do exactly that. When I practice helping others I definitely feel a sense of peace that this is what I am supposed to be doing. Nursing has been a goal of mine for many years and I know that this is where a large part of my life energy lies.
Through my work involved with our aggregate project at St. Vincent Food Pantry, I have faced the truth and awareness of health inequity in my very own community. Health inequity is very much alive for many people in regards to lack of access to not only healthcare, but the bare necessities to live. At St. Vincent, I along with my fellow classmates, put our energy into teaching the benefits of healthy food choices and what healthy food choices look like. We provided visual aides to identify healthy foods, provided healthy recipes, cooked healthy foods for clients to sample, and gave nutritional education while walking through the pantry with clients. It was quite evident after working at the pantry only a few short weeks, that there was a need for this particular intervention and one that could have lasting health benefits to many of the families. With that said, it was a challenge for us in terms of this client population being receptive to our efforts. This could have been due to many factors, such as the stigma that many may feel by utilizing the pantry or perhaps the lack of resources that many have at home to adequately prepare healthy foods. However, the challenges that existed did not deter us from trying new ways to present the benefits of healthy food and using therapeutic communication to reinforce our teaching.
I think the Dominican value that has had the greatest influence on my nursing practice is the value of compassion. My compassion for my patients and humanity as a whole has grown. I think I am now truly “seeing” the patients that I work with. Retaining compassion takes the purposeful action of looking beyond your patient’s appearance, history, or attitude. It requires you to focus on what you read in the depths of the patient’s eyes. I have learned that sometimes I will have patients who may not want my help, but they will always want my compassion.
My life’s purpose will impact the ecosphere in which we live because it is where all life came and in which all life exists, and I am a small portion of that existence. I believe that the reality of the world is not humans and separate “other things”. The earth is not a machine, it is beyond all understanding; an integrated ecosphere of spectacular creativity. As part of its existence it is my mission to contribute to this creativity and give back to make sure it evolves and is a better version for our future generations. Making connections and using my life energy in a positive way is a means to accomplish this. We are all connected, the air we breathe and the ground we walk on. We are all significant and equal in this and that is something that I think is important to acknowledge as we walk this earth.
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