MindfulVision

My tribute to life with all its curiosities and miracles


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What if?

I was walking along a little trail today, when I noticed a dove sitting on the ground. It wasn’t until a girl walked up to it with gloves though that I realized it was injured and couldn’t move. “Can’t fly anymore”, she said and told me she was bringing it to the woods nearby so it can get some peace and nature can take its course. “Or can you take it to the vet?” she asked me. “Well, I do have a car”, I replied but felt some hesitation come up at the same time.
I guess she could feel that, too, as she didn’t respond but approached the scared bird carefully and picked it up instead. Now I could see the broken leg. Poor little guy. “This is breaking my heart” she said, “but I’ll let it find some peace now.” “Sadly this is also a part of nature’s way”, was all I could say in return, still debating internally if it was my responsibility or even my right to intervene. “Goodbye” she said to me, speaking for the bird, before she walked away. It was sad. I was sad. I thanked her, said my goodbyes to the little bird, while blessing it and sending love and light.

As I walked off I still didn’t know if that was the right decision. It didn’t feel quite right but taking it to the vet didn’t feel right either, otherwise I would have done it. I was already on my way to someone I am currently taking care of and honestly wasn’t ready or willing to take on any further responsibilities. What if I had taken it to the vet? What would have happened afterwards? Who would have taken care of it? Who would have paid for it? Writing this I realize that compassion doesn’t ask what if questions. Compassion doesn’t ask questions period.

But who’s to judge if just bringing the bird to a peaceful place to die wasn’t the most compassionate thing to do in that moment? Who’s to say if it wanted to be saved at all? Maybe it didn’t even want to be moved? It didn’t say: “Could you please take me to the woods?” And it didn’t say “Could you please rescue me and take me to the vet?” either. We don’t know and all the girl and I could do was act upon our intuition and do what felt right for us in that moment based on how we experienced the situation. May you rest in peace little birdie.

We tend assume that whatever is broken needs to be fixed. However, sometimes broken stuff doesn’t need and doesn’t even want fixing; sometimes it’s much healthier to just let it die peacefully…as harsh as that may sound…people, animals, relationships, (self-)concepts, illusions… Unfortunately this is one of the root causes for guilt at the same time. “I could have done more or something else. I should have done more or something else.” Aren’t we all familiar with these voices in our heads?

I am shushing you now and for good guilty voice! This is my official commitment and conscious decision to let my shoulding guilt die right now! Fixing it or keeping it alive is no longer serving me, in fact it never was and probably never will be. It just took me a while to figure that out 🙂 Regarding the bird I did what I could in that very moment and so did the other girl. And sometimes not acting is the best action we can take as long as we are respectful of everybody’s needs including our own.

It’s so easy to forget our own needs, to ignore our inner voice and the signals our body and mind are sending us, when we are busy trying to help others. However, a broken you can’t be of much help either way. Not for yourself and even less so for others. As much as I keep wanting to save the world I’ve come to accept that I can’t and that it’s not my responsibility either. But what I can do and am responsible for is to take care of, change and save myself. And what if that might actually be my contribution to saving the world?

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…Only to find out…

My blogging has suffered lately. I am sorry MindfulVision yet again for not giving you the attention you deserve. There are always a million reasons to not find time. The truth is if I’m not motivated I will always find an excuse to procrastinate. So in this case apparently I wasn’t motivated to write because otherwise I would have. But why? Sure there are many many things on my mind and even more to take care of but in the past 30-something years that has never stopped me from doing the things I care about and love. I love my blog. I care for it. So what was keeping me?

I had given this question some thought in the past weeks without receiving an answer. Until just now, sitting in a Munich hospital waiting to see a doctor because of some allergic reaction. Nothing serious – I hope – but bad enough to give up on my usual self-medication strategy for now.

So here I am sitting in the waiting room with at least 50 other people (who by the way were all here before me). I’ve been here for 2 hours already and probably it will take at least another 2 until I get to see a doctor. I didn’t have coffee this morning so guess how excited I was to see the vending machine here… I walked towards it smiling… only to find out that I had given my last spare change to a needy man on my way to the hospital. There was a little reception booth and I asked the receptionist where I could get change (or coffee). The reception didn’t have change but she sent me to the cafeteria. I had plenty of time so went there … only to find out it was closed.

I gave up and walked back to the waiting room and figured sooner or later I will find coffee or maybe I can get some change from my fellow “waiters”. On my way I passed the nice lady again and she asked if I got my change. I told her that they were closed and gave her my friendly disappointed look. I was already half way back to the waiting room when she shouted: “Wait, maybe I can help you out.” She checked for her wallet… Only to find out that she had left it in her locker in the basement.

Now she gave me HER friendly disappointed look. I told her it wasn’t that big of a deal and was just about to leave when her face changed to friendly excited. “I’ll just go and grab it if you got a moment!” and off she was…returned with her wallet and checked it…only to find out that she only had €5 in change, which was exactly what I needed!!!

I was thrilled! Not just about the prospect of coffee but also about this lady’s natural willingness to help me out even with something that wasn’t life threatening or crucial at all – although in my eyes coffee comes pretty close to either one 🙂 Anyway back to my point. I told her how nice this was and how much I appreciate it. And all she said was: “If I’m able to help, I just do.” It’s as simple as that! And it’s people like this lady who contribute to making this a better place. And this is when I knew I wanted to share this story with you.

Sometimes the small and random things are way more important than the extraordinary and planned ones. And here is where my little thought circle comes to a close. I didn’t write lately because I thought I had nothing big to share. And in the meantime I forgot how precious and valuable the little and random encounters are. So here I am still sitting in the waiting room typing up this post on my phone … Only to find out that this is what MindfulVison has been about from day one!

Thank you kind receptionist at the hospital. For helping me get some coffee but also for reminding me not only of my blog’s purpose but also of the incredible joy and power of random acts of kindness!

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