The brilliant psychologist, Dr. Naim Akbar said that we should ask ourselves on a daily basis, “Why, me, here, now?”
I love this question. It has led me down some rather amazing pathways.
Last week, I used the question to keep me from spiraling into anger, guilt and just plain madness.
I was scheduled to work with the leadership team at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. It is their mission “To restore, sustain and enhance the health and developmental potential of children through excellence in care…”
Their Genomics Institute is running head-long into the future, finding cures and bringing them back. I’d love to tell you more, but I can't; no really, I can't.
What I really want to convey is the fact that life is already connected and it’s our job to find out how.
I am the single mother of five adopted children. They all have differing needs and “specialties” and although they are now adult-ish, they still need me.
My life is hectic and full of surprises, but it also follows a very tight schedule.
I was scheduled to be at Rady this past weekend, but I what I didn’t know was that my daughter would discover that she had enough credits to graduate with her best buddy on the same weekend.
I needed to be in San Diego on Friday and then again on Monday. To do the job and the graduation, I would need to fly from Savannah to San Diego on Thursday, then take a red-eye flight back Friday night so I could land just in time for the graduation on Saturday. Then, I’d need to fly right back to San Diego early Sunday morning.
I try my best to be present and in the moment. I don’t think about a flight to leave until I am done doing what I am supposed to do.
We spend so much time thinking about the next thing, that we don’t truly engage with the thing that we are doing.
But, I’m talking about connections, so let me get to it.
On Friday, when I rode up to the campus of Rady Hospital, my mind flashed back to 20 years ago. In that moment, I saw myself rushing from a flight to that same hospital to be with my daughter after an ENT surgery.
Back then, I’d felt bad about not being on time and I felt guilty for being at work in the first place. I said this to Autumn, my escort and beautiful conductor for that day’s event. She looked at me in surprise and said, “Do you know the name of the surgeon?”
I told her no, but I’d remembered his kind face.
She smiled and said, “I bet that’s him.” She was pointing to a man who appeared to be gliding across the hospital campus grounds. “That’s Dr. Kearns, he’s now the CEO.”
I thought, this can’t be happening. What are the odds?
For me, they are pretty high. I’m always seeing and finding connections. We all can.
We are so busy focusing on what we have to do next, that we can’t see the life connections that are right in front of us.
I went from being exhausted from just thinking about all of the flying I would have to do, to remembering the day I came rushing in for that surgery.
Then later that afternoon, I really got the magic.
After I spoke to the leadership team, Dr. Kearns came up to talk with me. He’s tall enough for me to need to really look up. He was talking to me and at one point, he looked down into my eyes and touched my shoulders.
I’m crying as I type this, because when he did, I was flooded with the same emotion I had 20 years ago.
Back then I felt guilty about not being at the surgery and then I felt bad for being late. When I’d got there, my daughter was in recovery. She still had bloody bandages on and she had just woken up. She looked as if she wanted to say, “Why did you let them do this to me?”
I was crying when Dr. Kearns came in. Once he discovered that the new person was actually the mother, he touched my shoulder and told me that everything was fine and she was better than okay.
I told him that I should have been there and he actually said, “Don’t do that to yourself, it’ not good for her or for you.” And then like some kind of surgery ghost he was gone.
Life is full of déjà vu’s and connections. We don’t see them, because we don’t want to.
We spend more time seeing separation than we do connections.
Here’s the thing; life is already connected.
Look and see.
Be you, be well, be why, me, here, now?
Bertice Berry, PhD.