I saw a funny meme recently that got me thinking. At the top it read “Choose Your Fighter” and below this heading sat photos of three women:
• Susan: She is gossipy and addicted to wine.
• Karen: Summons the manager.
• Brenda: Watches Grey’s Anatomy and believes she is a medical expert.
It got me thinking: Do I need a fighter right now? If so, who should it be? Like many of us, I have been riding a roller coaster of emotions. I feel inspired and motivated one moment and unsure, confused, and tearful the next. Then there are those moments in which I allow myself to go deep down any of the many rabbit holes that are present right now. That’s when I get into even more trouble. I inevitably feel as though I am caught in the whitewater at the beach on a big surf day, pounded by waves, held beneath the water, unsure of which way is up, having difficulty breathing, and screaming, “Help! Somebody save me!” But how can I help others if I need someone to help me right now?
This brings me back to that meme: “Choose your Fighter.” In a sense, aren’t we all fighters? We fight for our patients. We are helping them to feel comforted, protected, listened to, and loved. Who, then, can be our fighter? I will suggest we pass on Karen, Brenda, and even Susan from the meme mentioned above.
Instead, I would like to select Quan Yin as our guiding light. Quan Yin, a principal deity in Buddhism, is known as the Goddess of Compassion, something we all most certainly need right now—compassion for others and ourselves. With Quan Yin leading the way, can we, as healthcare providers, tap into her unwavering compassion and offer the same to our patients, especially right now? How many of you are frustrated at the current state of affairs, ready to throw in the towel and give up your practice? Are you making plans to move to a small island or mountain range somewhere and grow coconuts or herd sheep? What if, instead, you stayed? Quan Yin stayed–did you know that? Legend has it that after Quan Yin reached full enlightenment, she was on her way to heaven to live out eternity in nirvana.
Before entirely leaving this world, she heard cries of pain and suffering coming from the people of our planet. The countless prayers for help, hope, comfort, and strength from so many suffering people were her reasons for returning. Instead of entering heaven, Quan Yin chose to return to our planet and help deliver us from our pain and suffering. She came back to comfort us with a blanket of compassion and mercy. How can we do this for our patients? What would that look like for you? Her heart is full of unconditional love, which she shares with humanity. Can she help us exercise our ability to love unconditionally?
Most depictions of Quan Yin show her barefoot, symbolizing her groundedness, simplicity, and humility. What keeps you grounded? Do you engage in grounding activities or rituals regularly? Quan Yin reminds us of the importance of being grounded so that we may continue to serve and assist others. Simplicity may be one of the missing keys to happiness right now, especially with everything in such flux. Could simplicity be a key to more feelings of inner peace? Ask Quan Yin, perhaps. How can you keep your humility, especially during these tumultuous times, where so many people disagree? Can Quan Yin show us a way to have compassion for others even if we do not agree with their perspective? Can Quan Yin teach us how to stay humble even when we feel so strongly that we are right?
In some translations, Quan Yin means “she who hears prayers”. I would venture to say that people are doing a lot of praying right now. They pray to Quan Yin, God, Buddha, Jesus, archangels, and an almost unlimited number of deities, higher powers, and ascended masters. Have you ever considered that all of those prayers get answered through us and our work? Perhaps the enlightened beings and higher energies might bring these people to us because we can help them?
So, when asking yourself: “Should I stay, or should I go?” Stay. Continue to be a lighthouse for others. Lighthouses get people through horrible storms; they are guiding lights of hope and safety. They stay put. They don’t move. They shine bright and even brighter when maintained properly. To do this, you will have to choose your fighter wisely.
While Quan Yin is an excellent choice for your fighter, she is not the only option. There are others out there. You simply need to look for them. When choosing your fighter, make sure to find one that comforts you, fills up your compassion and love gas tanks, and makes you feel grounded and protected. I want to leave you with an oracle card2 that is currently displayed next to my computer. It reminds me of my current fighter, Quan Yin. She encourages me to approach everyone with more compassion, forgiveness, and unconditional love, including myself. QUAN YIN Care and Compassion Meaning of this card: “Choose to be love. Do what is right for everyone involved. Offer a helping hand.”