A Step In The Right Direction

Well, last week started with a bang! Walking my usual route to my Advanced Nurse Practitioner job at a surgery in Leicester I found myself ‘starfished’ on the floor, arms and legs akimbo and a freshly bought net of satsumas squished between me and the pavement. Dignity lost and wanting to cry.

My first thought was, ‘I can’t move’ and I couldn’t! As I lay sprawled out on St Peters Road with people sidestepping me on their way to work, my friend and colleague Tania attempted, unsuccessfully, to get me up!

And then a knight in shining armour arrived in the form of a homeless man sat outside Sainsbury’s that morning. He apologised for the fact that he was homeless, going on to say that despite being a homeless person he was going to to put his arm around me to help lift me up and get me to the nearby seat. Then he and Tania scooped me up, the three of us weaved/hobbled in between the morning commuters walking their way to work. After kindly taking pictures of the offending grate which I tripped over to enable me to report to the council, the homeless man disappeared into the crowd and I can’t even remember if I thanked him for being so kind.

Only that week one of my beautiful patients had bought me a book called ‘The Magic’. In this book Rhonda Byrne takes you through a 28-day process which can be life changing. She talks about the importance of ‘giving’ and how the natural flow and achievement of happiness will occur if you follow these principles,. It’s important to identify ten things each day that you are truly grateful for and to understand why you are grateful.

I think this Monday morning trauma happened because the celestial stars had arranged themselves to give me an opportunity to be grateful. My horizontal meeting with the pavement led me to reflect on humanity. I don’t know about you, but to a degree I think I have become immune to the growing problem of homelessness in the UK. I donate on a monthly basis to the local Pathways homeless charity, in all honesty this is an easy way to assuage my conscience about homelessness when in-fact this is easy for me to do and I don’t even notice the donation going out of my account each month.

The lovely chap who helped me gave me the ‘virtual shake’ that I needed. Of all of the people passing only he came to my aid (other than Tania). Although I had loss of dignity, felt bruised, battered and completely shook up, my thoughts increasingly turned to Rhonda’s book and I started to feel grateful for the fall and the fresh eyes this had enabled me to look through.

Since experiencing my epiphany and implementing Rhona’s philosophy I feel grateful for having had the fall which led me to meeting this man whose name I don’t even know. More importantly, when I considered the concept of ‘giving’ the chivalrous young man has nothing that he could materially give me , but he gave me so much more that day. I’ve tried to find the man to thank him and ask him what I can do to help him, alas he’s disappeared, but I’m still hopeful.

This experience has confirmed what I already knew, ‘giving is crucial to us being balanced human beings’. In my clinic I want every patient I see to feel like they are the only person I have assessed and treated that day, and more importantly I want to ensure that they feel that have been listened to and treated with respect. Ultimately, the gift I wish to give to every person I treat is increased self-confidence, self-belief and to feel able to smile at the world and give positivity to everyone that comes into their lives. Kindness, gratitude and compassion (with a few laughs mixed in) can make the world a better place.

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