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  • Rena Alseth

The Precious Gift of Giving


Affirmations are sentences aimed to affect the conscious and unconscious mind. They should be positive and represent the person you are working to become.

Here are April's affirmation of the month:

~ "My willingness to share does not make me charitable, it makes me free." ~

Over the past few months I spent a lot of time with my stepfather, Lyle. A man who dedicated his life to his family, friends, and co-workers. Due to a long-term illness, he became quite sick and was admitted to the hospital on February 9, 2019. My family and I lost our beloved (step) father, brother, and friend on March 22, 2019. During his time in the hospital we spent a lot of quality time together. We talked about the past, oh the memories we shared! We talked about the future and what it might hold for each of us and others. We talked about the present, too. That was the hardest. Lyle was suffering from lung disease (he’d quit smoking 24 years ago, however a family history, and the agent orange he acquired during the Vietnam War definitely played a role), congestive heart failure, diabetes, being overweight, and gout.

While in the hospital we experienced many personalities. Some nurses were so kind and caring that they made it seem as though everything would be as comfortable as it could possibly be, and that Lyle would be well cared for. Others hardly came in to his room, when they did come there was no sense that they cared about Lyle at all, they were only there to do their job and move on to the next patient. Often times Lyle went for several hours before the nurses would respond to his call light. When they did come, they were very matter of fact-like and then off again.

We witnessed a short-staffed profession where there were often 4 or 5 patients to a nurse, even on a specialty floor, we were in the cardiac unit, as Lyle was in and out of ICU twice. The nurses and other staff members worked long hours. We could feel the stress-level from many of them.

As for the kind and caring nurses, they didn’t have shorter schedules or see less patients (I asked). So why then were they able to come to work with a smile on their faces and treat each patient like they were the only patient in the whole place? My answer came from Sharon, a middle-aged nurse who has spent the past 25 years caring for her patients. She said to me, “I’m not here for the money (though I’m happy I have it), I’m not here for the long grueling hours, either, obviously. I’m here because when I help those who need me, I’m the one who receives a special gift! I feel an overwhelming sense of compassion and love; and it sets me free.”

Wow! I was completely taken by her answer. I experience this same feeling in my work! Research also shows that when we help others with an open-mind and full heart we cannot help but feel good often followed by a great sense of accomplishment. And for those who we help? For many of them, their lives are forever changed for the better. Where do you fit into this equation?

Keep reading each month for more bit’s & tip’s on lifestyle and behavior!


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