My husband Brian likes to remind me that life is like a karma credit card — it’s far better to add as many credits as you can to your card of life because the debits will inevitably come along. Having been the recipient of thousands of injections through many years of surgeries, medical check-ups and blood draws, I knew what it was like to get a shot, to feel the anticipation of a needle prick. As time went on, I’d become queasy at the very thought of a needle and grew accustomed to looking away while some kind nurse or practitioner went about their business of sticking me. It takes practice to be the patient and I thought I’d become quite good at it. I never wanted to be on the other side.
But this week, Brian told me that he had a procedure on the horizon and as a part of it, had to have twice daily injections. He pulled out a plastic bag of pre-filled syringes and handed it to me, intimating that I become chief injector. My stomach turned somersaults. There was no way I could do this.
As my yoga teacher Cynthia has told me, life has a way of touching you on the shoulder when it’s your turn. As I examined every angle of how to get out of giving Brian his shots, I realized there was no way out. The karma of shots had come my way. For many years I had taken them, adding debits to my karma credit card. Now it seemed, it was time to add some credits to that card.
As the moment approached,I over-thought my new role. Then, I remembered a passage from the book, Surfing the Himalayas: A Spiritual Adventure (www.himalayas.com), “Thoughts should have a place in your life of course, but it should be a very small place. To really know something, in order to see its perfection and to become part of that perfection, you must become the action that you seek to perfect.”
Brian handed me the needle. As if I’d done it all my life, I took it, flicked the tip and watched droplets of fluid fall out, then plunged it into the folds of stomach Brian gathered with his hand and depressed the plunger, feeling the tension of liquid pouring into his body and out of the syringe. We both exhaled.
From nursed to nurse. Karma isn’t always supposed to come full circle in a single lifetime but it felt that way. I’d repeat the same anticipation, the same motion for three more days. I didn’t want to perfect this action by any means. Still, I found a way to become one with it. If nothing else, I felt it was my turn to do it.