After college, I worked as a nurse at Duke Hospital on a neurosurgical unit. I worked with brain surgeons. Duke is a referral Center, so we treated patients with desperate illnesses. It was a bit like Grey’s Anatomy minus the glamor and perpetual Booty Calls.
I was always struck by the faith of the surgeons.
I never heard one of them go up to pre-operative patient and say, “Oh my God, your tumor is horrifying. I’m helpless and I don’t know what to do.” Nor did I witness any surgeon’s fear turn to outrage. No one visited a patient and said, “I’m going to attack your tumor and slash the bastard to bits.”
They saw the disease – they didn’t pretend it wasn’t there. But they addressed it skillfully, with faith in science; and faith in the system of abiding wholeness embedded in the human body. They used their skill to make a surgical strike – a precise removal of the “enemy” with little or no collateral damage.
When we encounter problems in the world, we may act less like a brain surgeon and more like a slasher. We become afraid. Then our fear becomes anger and outrage. We become mired in inner turmoil that we act out through strategies like name calling, accusation, arguing and emotional violence.
What if we could be like a brain surgeon and skillfully address the “dis-eases” of society?
That means name the societal “disease” and see it. But instead of tearing into the perceived problem with fear, rage and ridicule, try something else. Be like a brain surgeon. Trust wholeness and your skillful place in it. Wait. Breathe. Honor your beautiful intentions to bless all beings. And ask, “What is mine to do today?”
Then proceed with graceful skill and loving precision.
Something in you knows how to live skillfully.
I have faith in you.
Meditate – Center and ask, “What is mine to do with skill and precision today?”
Practice – Throughout the day, notice yourself. Are you acting with skill and precision?
Advanced Practice – Reflect on what it was like to act with skill and precision. What changed for you? What changed for those around you?