Two posts in one month after going two months without posting at all? That’s what happens when my classes end, and I only work three days a week. [end gloat] Anyway, this post has been a long time coming so I figured why not just go ahead and crank this one out as well? So about two years ago around this time, I was working at the University Catholic Center. It was a Sunday, and I was doing my front desk receptionist bit. A friend of mine stopped in to spend some time in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel which happened to be located behind my desk. When he was done, he came out, and handed me a slip of paper he found in the book he had picked up while in there. Here’s what it said:
A NURSE’S PRAYER
may we who are preparing to be nurses
work with devotion.
May we touch with gentleness;
may we speak with tenderness;
may we listen with our eyes
as well as our ears.
May we smile from the heart;
may we understand with deep feeling;
may we know the time to be quiet…
the time to laugh,
the time to sympathize,
the time to encourage.
And above all,
may we know
that the time to love
Lord, hear our prayer.
It was great because at the time, I had just been accepted into the UT School of Nursing and was to begin that fall. It served as a great source of consolation and confirmation that I was following the right path. It also helped that the last few lines of the prayer roughly mirrored the theme of the Longhorn Awakening retreat that I had just been a speaker for: LA48 – “Now is the Time to Go Through the Door”.
So a couple of weeks ago, classes ended for the UT SoN Class of May 2012. One of our colleagues sent out an email wanting a picture taken of the group. Naturally I jumped on that bandwagon almost immediately. While uploading these pictures to Facebook, I ended up resurrecting an old Facebook note that I had written immediately after the aforementioned incident. I am naturally predisposed to get all sentimental at the drop of a hat, so I started thinking about that, and how far I’ve come in the last couple of years. The final verdict: I did choose the right path, and I am indeed in the place where I need to be right now.
A lot has happened: great and not so great clinical experiences, learning and practicing skills like starting IVs, hours and hours of classes that never seemed to end…the list goes on and on. But the learning has not been limited to the classroom or to clinical experiences. There are a lot of things that I have learned about myself in the last two years than I ever could have imagined: the importance of being comfortable in your own skin, the value of friends and family, what I am truly capable of. But most of all, I learned that the only thing really holding me back is myself.
And I feel as though it holds true for many people, if not everybody. It’s that fear that holds you back. What if I change my plans and those fail? That was the question I asked before I decided to switch into nursing. Had I let that fear bind me, I would probably have never experienced the joy and peace that I bask in now. What if I am rejected if they truly know me? Well, do you want a bunch of people to love their image of you or a few people that love you despite your flaws? Fear and inhibition blocks the freedom to love, the freedom to experience joy, the freedom to learn new things.
And this whole harnessing my fear and inhibitions transfers over into the nursing realm as well. Knowing what I do, and knowing that I don’t know everything makes me a more effective nurse. Instead of worrying about screwing up a skill and deferring it to my preceptor, I take the opportunities that I can to learn, and if I make a mistake, then so be it. That’s the point of having a preceptor: to guide and teach. But they can’t do anything if I’m too afraid to learn.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have my fair share of inhibitions and fear left in me, but I am also a work in progress. I know that this is a point where I can improve upon, and am taking action to do so. My point is that you have to make that conscious effort to lift your spirit out of the trappings of fear and inhibition if you even want a chance of truly setting it free.