Thursday, 28 February 2013

Finding A New Family

It took me a bit over a year to find my Ontario Family. I have left a lot behind in my home in Nova Scotia. My biological family, my church family, and my friends who are like family. Everyone was left behind, and I was all on my own. I reconnected with my sister- 3 hrs away. One of my good friends from NS moved an hour away and we're still good friends. I found family in my roommates, who are like my adopted siblings. I fell in love and have his family. It took me a long time to create a life around me. I had a lot of friends in first year, that I don't have now.

These past two years have been the most accelerated growth I have experienced. So many trials, but I have grown so much as a person because of certain experiences. Through the tough times, I wouldn't change a thing.

The most important thing in life is your family. It doesn't have to be biological, but your quality of life will be based upon the people you adopt into your life.

A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle.

Working in a hospital, it's sometimes stressful, but you have moments that are very rewarding. I saw this statement today  "A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle." and was wondering how true it is. Ultimately, helping someone, especially in a palliative state, can be very draining, and if you put all your effort into someone else's comfort, your own comfort will be drained. The analogy of a candle in care, at first, seems unappropriate. A better analogy would be 2 cups. One cup is filled with water and the other cup is empty. As you help someone, in a hospital or otherwise, your cup will slowly empty, and the other cup will slowly fill. It's draining. A pastor recently said this in his sermon. You always have to make sure your own tank is filled. This doesn't mean being selfish, but it means that at the end of the day when you have drained your tank, that you take time to refill it. Some people may do this through exercise, baking, being with friends/family, etc. If you don't refill it, your tank will be empty and you will have nothing left to give the next day.

The idea of the candle is nice, and comforting, but it's not completely true. Unless you see the whole cycle of kindness. When you drain your tank to help others, your reward can be found in witnessing the effect on the other person. Therefore, when you light another candle, and help another person, you can strengthen yourself and the other person. Selflessness is hard to achieve because sometimes you don't see the whole cycle, and instead you are just drained, and not refilled.

In the hospital, you have thankful patients and not-so-thankful patients. But one patient who is thankful can make your whole week.

So the next time someone helps you, or drains their tank for you, be appreciative, be thankful, and refill their tank. And when you drain your tank for someone, know that it is worth it, regardless of their response.