I miss the certainty in purpose, meaning, self-worth and belonging I had before my head injury, Bertha, came along. Four years ago, if you asked me about the meaning in my life, I would have told you that my reason for being was to live and leave a legacy of encounters that fostered love, respect, care and appreciation for the life and challenges experienced by our fellow human beings.
It was dead easy to meet this goal on a daily basis working as a nurse. To care for a patient and their family on some of the most difficult days of their lives; to support a colleague when they are in the thick of their own or another persons suffering; to work as part of a supportive, family of friends; to make a difference…EVERY…SINGLE…. DAY. It was amazing. I remember leaving work most days grateful for my health and well being; for the ability to help a patient heal in the 12 hours I was them…. or provide comfort & support when healing was not longer within reach. To lean into difficult moments and share my humanity…my best self with someone else was an amazing thing.
But that was then, and this is now…so I find myself trying to figure out how Bertha and I can live a life worth living. One that meets the internal threshold I have of what constitutes a life with meaning. What I am learning is that no matter how creative my thinking and hard I work at it, I still struggle with trying to find a way to feel useful again. So I figured…why not ask everyone around me. How do you find meaning in your life? What makes you feel fulfilled? What makes you feel useful?