It’s a joyful, giggly morning and my sister and I (ages six and five) take aim with our squirt guns at the light bulb hanging over the bathroom sink. A loud pop splits the air as shards of glass sprinkle down on our heads.
“What was that?” I hear my father yell as both parents run into the room. Instantly I freeze knowing we did something very naughty.
My mother laughs a little as she picks through our hair. “They didn’t know that would happen,” she said.
Now I can’t remember if there was eventually some type of punishment involved. But I do remember a feeling of otherworldly buoyancy as peace in the form of relief washed over me. Our mistake was being treated as though it were merely a learning opportunity.
The pat on the back for a job well done, the look of joy on my granddaughter’s face when I appear from the airport door, receiving a thoughtful gift ~ those occurrences produce the usual hum of delight. However, it is the generous acts from others that were given to me in the face of my blunders that will forever flow a current of happiness deep to my soul.
As a young nurse orientating to a new job, I offered to hand out medications for the nurse who was training me (because she started to have a migraine headache). I didn’t know the patients well, so I asked them a series of questions to get acquainted. An elderly man with a big smile said “yes” when I asked if he was Mr. So & So. I put about five pills in a cup and watched him swallow them down in one gulp. Several questions later a feeling of dread squeezed at my heart when I realized he answered “yes” to every question I asked, including “what television show would you like to watch?” I grabbed his wrist to look at his name band and it turned out Mr. So & So was actually Mr. Oh-No!
I literally ran out of his room and smashed straight into the chest of his doctor who was entering the doorway. Dr. Nice-Man instantly surmised the situation and encouraged me to breathe. “Now, tell me exactly what happened,” he said in a soothing voice.
“Ah, so let’s see what it is you gave him,” he said after I tearfully stammered out what I had done. “Hmm, mostly these are supplements . . . and there is a heart med you gave him . . . but it won’t hurt him . . . in fact, it’ll probably do him good.” He chuckled good-naturedly.
“Thank God. I’ll go fill out the incident report,” I said with a red, wet face.
“No, no need to do that. I was just thinking about starting him on that med anyway.”
I know that doctor gave me a precious gift that day. He could have annihilated my self-esteem by berating my ability to be a competent nurse, but he already knew that I felt horrible, so he chose to give me grace. Also, by letting the mistake be known only to the two of us, he allowed me to start new employment without a “dumb-blonde” label ~ a fear that I tended to carry within me already. No one was harmed by the situation and I learned to be very cautious when distributing meds in the future. But more importantly, he taught me to be a source of compassion to others as they make errors along life’s journey. To offer this brand of happiness, when it is needed most, brings in an awareness of higher consciousness to everyone involved.
I hold an intention that I will always be a source of love regardless of what circumstances are presented to me. May I be the person who corrects mistakes gently and spreads acts of kindness wherever I go. Perhaps, deep gratitude will stay with someone else for a lifetime (if I’m successful at this) and inspire them to offer the same blessings to others. Let’s all make the world a softer place!
Pen Augustin is author of Waves of Light and The Priestess Tale series. She is also founder of Lady of the Lake Holistic Health. Pen loves to give messages about how we can heal ourselves and bring balance to our beloved planet. Living near the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, she enjoys spending time in nature and communing with the local wildlife.