Last week, I underwent major surgery for the first time in my life, and with it, welcomed a whole host of new experiences. As a healer myself, I have not often had the opportunity to receive the type of care I needed to recuperate from such an event, and at first, it made me feel incredibly helpless.
A few hours after I left the recovery room, a visit from the hospital's chaplain put things into perspective for me, offering me comfort in a confusing time. A Buddhist himself, but educated in many religious and spiritual traditions, the chaplain reminded me there is a certain dignity and responsibility in suffering. When one suffers, she takes on the suffering of an entire community, thereby lessening the sadness and hurt experienced by all. It encouraged me to know that even in my helpless state, I could still affect the world in a positive way.
As he left my room, the chaplain encouraged me to meditate while breathing deeply, to focus on the breath as the source of life. He instructed me to breathe in love and care and support, and exhale out pain, weakness, and frustration, connecting myself to my body and to the communal breath we all share at any given time.
There is so much to say regarding approaching surgery naturopathically, and there are many more blog posts to come, but for now, I am grateful for such a kind and generous tribe surrounding me at this time, and for words of wisdom like this chaplain's to guide me. Once the fog in my brain has cleared, the IV nutrients have left my bloodstream, and my body has found its strength again, I'll be back and better than ever! Until then, in #healthandhumanity,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Ouano is a naturopathic doctor and writer. A fierce advocate for health equity and rights of the marginalized, she frequently writes about the intersection of naturopathic medicine and public health, throwing in personal anecdotes and tasty (and practical) recipes along the way.