It’s 5:36 am and I’m in the Atlanta airport after coming in off of a redeye flight from California. I’m on my way home to Savannah and life is wonderful.
There are many things that I’d like to change, like the noise level in the airport, seats that recline back to the point where they did before and extra seat was put in, loud talkers on cell phones and people who don’t cover their mouth when they sneeze. But the only thing I can change is my own attitude; the only person is me.
I can shut out the noise with meditation, be calm when the man in front of me comes crushing back and I can take another round of vitamins. While I may not have a choice in what others do, I have a choice in how I respond.
When we begin to take control over our own lives, we see that we have less time to care about the stuff of someone else.
Yesterday, I had the honor to speak to critical care pediatric nurses. I sat in on some of the other sessions and got to see just a bit of what these amazing nurses have to do and know. Every presentation was way above my head, but I was able to follow along and even walk away knowing much more about the human body, the assessment of pain and the differences between an adult and child patient. I was also moved by the level of compassion these nurses have for all they do and serve.
There was much to learn, but one thing stood out like a message from heaven; when a nurse is trying to save a person’s life, they have to make sure that the person is getting enough air and are able to breathe. This becomes apparent when viewing a chest x-ray and is referred to as adequate inspiration. Wow!
We all need adequate inspiration: we need air, spirit, the breath of life.
We cannot change anyone, but we can inspire them with our life. So now at 5:52 in the Atlanta airport, I’m asking myself if I am inspiring someone or if I “kill their joy.” I know I can’t kill anyone’s joy, they control their own behavior but I can affect and inspire.
It’s early, I want to be home and in my own bed. I’d like to take a shower and hug my kids. But my job requires that I travel to do my work. It requires that I be in the presence of things and folks whom I can’t control. Even when things around us seem chaotic, we must be in control of our own behavior and our own response.
I begin to smile at the travelers and employees walking by. We all had to get up early and are a tad annoyed, but as I smile, they smile back. I say hello and I’m greeted with “Girl you got it going on.” I play peek-a-boo with a child in a stroller and the parents stop bickering about who should carry what. I am not controlling or changing anything, I am inspiring and reminding others of the same thing that I need; the thing they all give back; the inspiration to keep going on.
· What are you doing right now? How can you inspire someone from where you are?
· Who inspires you?
· Tell them.
· Think of a scenario when you responded in a way that was less than what you would have liked. How could you have changed the response? (Practice, you’ll be annoyed again.)
· Who do you inspire?
We all need someone to help us breathe deeply and smile a bit more; today, be that for someone and watch how it comes back.
Be you, Be Well, Be Breath
Bertice Berry, PhD.