Mysteries and Miracles in Everyday Life
Jean Watson’s 10th Caritas Process tm; being open to spiritual, mystery, unknowns and allowing for miracles, has called me to fully acknowledge the divine in the mundane; to realize that life itself is both a mystery and miracle. Weaving each moment into an expansive tapestry of mystical connection and influence has expanded my understanding of shared humanity. I deeply appreciate receiving small mercies and kindnesses and in turn feel inspired to extend small mercies and kindesses to others in a reciprocal flow of connection, love, regard, and understanding. I find that my own instances of unskillfulness, misunderstanding, or anger stem from a lapse in remembering the sacred mystery of shared humanity, and this realization softens my heart towards others who are experiencing the same. When I was still in nursing school, I provided care for a young man who was shackled to his bed with a prison guard outside of the room. This patient was in prison for murder and he was in the hospital because he had been bitten by another inmate during a fight and had cellulitis in his hand and arm. When I received the assignment, I felt dismayed and ill-equipped to care for this violent offender. The charge nurse noticed my demeanor and said something I never forgot: “We are treating the human being—human to human—and that is what you must focus on. Let the guard take care of the rest.” It was the first time anyone pointed out the phenomenon of shared humanity to me. When I went into his room, I was shocked to find an angry, aggressive, diminutive young adult in a great deal of pain. The hovering prison guard kept me physically safe, and my new awareness of the miracle of shared humanity facilitated compassionate and excellent care for the week that I worked with this patient despite the fact that loving, sharing, and trust were not necessarily part of the encounter.
Since then, ongoing personal awareness of the miracle of shared humanity has opened my eyes to the divine spark in myself and every being I encounter, and heightened my awareness to expansive possibilities for caring, lovingkindess, and understanding in whatever situations I may encounter. Sometimes this awareness results in transpersonal caring moments with others, which is a welcome mystery and miracle. Other times, no matter how open, caring and loving I may be, transpersonal connection with another does not emerge, and that is fine too. These are times when genuine acknowledgement of my own divine light nudges me to pause, deeply inhale the tonic of divine love that moves in, around, and through me, and then move forward in confidence with an appreciation for what the flow of life might teach me in any given moment.