Staying Present: The healthcare superpower

I have learned deep and lasting lessons from watching the life-saving personnel at the hospital over the last 2 years, especially during the recent COVID months. I want to share with you what I’ve found.

Healthcare employees have a superpower: they truly know mortality. They know death and dying is a simple choice, one accidental fluke, one overdose, one mistake away. Meaning healthcare professionals know life is too short, no tomorrow is ever guaranteed, 

there is no time to waste in chasing dreams and there is no time like the present.

That is the healthcare professional’s superpower. We, as healthcare personnel, are certain everyone dies. We know in every cell of our being that the present moment is the only moment we have. Healthcare professionals have the opportunity to put all of that knowledge to good use by crafting focus and flow toward increased mindfulness and staying present.  

The superpower is successfully hurdling the first obstacle; understanding life is precious because of how fleeting it is. The second obstacle is remembering that knowledge – even when we live full and busy lives where the moments pass us by so quickly that we forget to stay present. This second part is challenging, even for healthcare workers who have the superpower.

It has been in the moments where we are reminded life is  momentary that we remember. When we are reminded that death and dying is a part of life for all of us, we go home and hug our loved ones tighter. We spend the following hour, day, or week remembering to enjoy the present moment because we know it could be ours or someone we love, last moments.  

When you randomly survey people about their thought patterns, most people are either thinking of the past or future, leaving most grieving and nostalgic or anxious and vigilant, respectively. The only space we have where there is guaranteed opportunity for created happiness, contentment, joy and peace is right here, right now. 

So, for the Healthcare professionals, there have been countless and ongoing opportunities to practice living in the moment over the last year because we have seen so much death and dying. We know the risk of letting life pass us by. But,we have to develop strong enough ability to not forget, to cope, and self-care, so the moments we can choose are full of pleasure and peace. It is not an easy feat, but it is accessible to those that are knowing.

Tips to Stay Present

  • Know that –  knowing is both deeply freeing and profoundly frightening.
  • Remember nothing other than right now is guaranteed.
  • Make an agreement to choose your moments when you are able to choose.
  • Send those that you love even more love when you remember and are reminded of our mortality.  That will help.
  • Find satisfaction in knowing that you have a superpower, and every superpower is both a burden and a gift.
  • Before going to sleep, think about if you had only one more day and try to live the next in some way close to how you would choose to.
  • Love people in your life like you don’t have them for very long and rest easy knowing that this will not make losing them easier but it will diminish the worst part of grief, regret that never resolves.

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