Nursing and my new religion

Annelies van Haastrecht, community nurse, Voorschoten, the Netherlands

I started nursing at a young age, 17 years old. And if you asked me at that time why I had chosen nursing as a profession I would not have been sure what to answer. It would definitely not have been the answer I would give today. Today I say I have chosen to become a nurse because I love people and I love to care for and nurture them, to give them an insight into how it is to truly be caring and loving for oneself.

I left the healthcare system ten years after I started, without any appreciation for myself, burnt out, not coping with the pressure and the huge demands of the system. I did my utmost to fit in, to please others, unaware of who I truly was and this resulted in me becoming the tough nurse, hardened, in whom everything and everyone else came first. I thought myself and saw around me that this was what nursing was about, but I felt I would never be enough, that I had failed, I had given myself away completely and I gave up… and withdrew from my profession.

I closed this door and was convinced I would never go back, but over the last few years how I live, the way I feel about myself, my life and work has changed and for 5 years now I am back in the healthcare system with demands that are probably even higher and I simply love my job. How come I am enjoying my job so much and feel that the pressure and the high demands are not getting to me as they did back then? At the age of 56 years when a lot of people decide to work less hours, I am choosing to work more hours than I have for a long time.

What is my secret of working and enjoying myself in a stressful job and feeling very well?

Well, it is no secret at all. It is true religion that’s back in my life. Not a religion in the way of the traditional religions, but religion in the true meaning of the word. A religion that lives within you and in the relationship with yourself first before anything or anyone else. A religion that unites people as we are all the same and asks us to take care of our bodies, to truly nurture ourselves. A way of life.

I am connected to God, not as a trust but a knowing in my body, a quality that is inside me.

I have built a relationship with myself, a loving relationship that is forever deepening. Without relying only on the outside world any more, but on my body and inner-heart. I appreciate the quality of stillness I bring to my life and thus to the patients I care for. The love I feel inside is what is coming out and this is true religion, me living me. The way I care for and nurture myself is the way I care and nurture for patients. That was not there from the first moment; it has been and still is a process, from living what the outside world wants me to live, to living the connection with the love I am from inside, step by step every day. I make mistakes, take a step back, but choose to come back again and again.

Love is patient and will never give up. And so I can say I am religious; no church, no temple other than my own body, my own heart. I take all of me to my job, to my colleagues and the patients I love and care for.

Read more:

  1. From exhaustion and feeling false to feeling vital and truly looking after myself. 
  2. Nursing, me and Serge Benhayon 

 

536 thoughts on “Nursing and my new religion

  1. “The love I feel inside is what is coming out and this is true religion, me living me.”
    What’s so beautiful about growing this love on the inside, is that there is no manual for what this looks like on the outside, like growing our potential from the inside out removed from any external influence, permission to celebrate and express more and more of who we truly are.

  2. ‘ I appreciate the quality of stillness I bring to my life and thus to the patients I care for. ‘ Wonderful Annelies, what incredible healing energy your patients are offered.

  3. When we care for ourselves in the same way we care for others we do not have to blame our jobs for making us feel exhausted.

  4. Annelies, it is beautiful to read how your relationship with God is not based on trust but rather a deep knowing. This speaks to me innately and I am sure it does so for many others too, because the relationship that we each have with God does not have to be dictated to us – it can be felt as true from the inner-heart that is within us all.

  5. I feel so much appreciation in this blog for the quality of what you do and bring. Reminds me of how crucially important appreciation is in knowing and understanding who God truly is.

  6. My life was about wanting to please others and never understanding what true service and responsibility were all about, and this irresponsibility never served me or any one else. This has been like an avalanche in my life that never irresponsibility would not have stopped because once you are entrapped in that turbulent force there seemed to be no way out until the truth about service was presented to me by Serge Benhayon. Over many years I am still learning to not look for recognition and be humble with a gratitude that what I am doing is truly serving humanity.

    1. When being nice and pleasing others has been a long standing pattern for us, changing this pattern can feel like the earth is turned upside down, as much is unfamiliar and there is no picture to follow, but the support that is unyielding is always within us, it comes from our body, and what an amazing opportunity to return to a deeper trust with ourselves.

  7. How lovely for a nurse to reconnect to why they love nursing and to take that with them to work each day. What a blessing for the patients and the healthcare system.

    1. Indeed Nikki, a blessing this is. True nursing brought back to the nursing industry is very much needed as to me it will be the start of a turnaround that has to be made to make this industry healthy and in true service for the people in need once again.

    2. This applies to all jobs not matter what they may be when we are willing to bring love and an honest connect to others – we are blessing any system of service we work in.

  8. Vey beautiful and so true and it is how I know religion to feel within my body “The love I feel inside is what is coming out and this is true religion, me living me.” I feel a divine, lightness within me that is so warm and fiery it is like nothing else I know…it is where connection with Soul, God, religion resides, no one needs to give me anything, tell me anything, I know and I know it is there when allow it and accept to be there.

  9. This religion with the love that we are is where we are designed for and belong to. So actually choosing to connect once again with this innate divine being we are is in fact a return to who and what we already are and always have been. Therefore living life from this religion is completely opposite to what living from the mind does bring us and therefore, as Annelies is describing in this blog, we can return to a job or profession we once left because the way we conducted ourselves was not supportive and most importantly without any other purpose than to meet the needs of oneself while in connection with the love we are from, the purpose is for us all, for humanity which is very inspiring and confirming to our being and therefore will never drain us but instead take us to levels we would not have expected to go.

  10. What is shared here is no different in any work place when the core ingredients is loving people, nurturing and showing them how to self -care. A perfect start to every business models vision.

  11. Annelies this is a beautiful sharing and knowing of true religion from within and is lived written and offered for us all.The magic of living religiously with every detail in the love and connection of who we truly are is deeply touching and know to us all if we truly stop and connect to ourselves.

  12. “The love I feel inside is what is coming out and this is true religion, me living me.” – Love how you show us how simple true religion can be in essence and how it is something that lives first within us and then from that comes with all that we do.

  13. A colleague of mine is leaving the teaching profession after 5 year. She is a fabulous teacher that the students love and respect. It is devastating to the profession that great teachers are leaving their jobs because in her words she is ‘tired of being tired all the time.’ I am sure this occurs not only in teaching and nursing. My feeling is there would be less people leaving for these reasons if we all lived the true religion you describe Annelies.

  14. Life completely turns around when we connect to who were are, where we come from and the purpose of what we bring. Then every second matters and each one has the potential of much joy and love.

  15. Burnout and disillusionment with the nursing profession are unfortunately very common. Although nurses know that care is central to what they offer, very few know that self-care has to come first before they can offer the type of care that comes with a roadmap for patients to rediscover true health. Having a knowing of what we bring when we nurse, and that all patients equally have this is so important. Otherwise it is a case of the blind leading the blind, rather than equal care, equal responsibility.

  16. “A religion that lives within you and in the relationship with yourself first before anything or anyone else.” This is what has changed so much in my life also Annelies, as before I was also approaching life and work by placing others first and saw that as support and pleasing others, when in fact I was deeply harming myself because of self neglect. By working on building self love and by taking care of myself first what I can offer is not coming from self sacrifice but from the quality of love. By taking responsibility for myself first I can also respect others choices more and let them take care of their own lives.

  17. This beautiful article just goes to show how everything lies in the quality of energy that we do jobs in. This is all that matters. And when we pass over all we take with us is that quality – all else is left behind to decay.

  18. What a simple approach to religion, it’s like nursing ourselves and each other back to the glory we are from.

  19. Annelies I am sure many in the health care system can relate to your experience. The change you made is enormous and shows the way forward for all those in the caring professions. If we do not relate with and care for ourselves there simply is no way we can sustain ourselves in such demanding jobs. There is so much more to life and it would serve all well if we can connect back to the essence of who we are and live from there.

  20. When we are connected to God all we do is done with the expansion of this connection, and all who come into contact with one who is connected can’t help but be healed by it, whether they are aware of it or not. It’s the missing key to enjoying any job.

  21. ‘Well, it is no secret at all. It is true religion that’s back in my life. Not a religion in the way of the traditional religions, but religion in the true meaning of the word. A religion that lives within you and in the relationship with yourself first before anything or anyone else. A religion that unites people as we are all the same and asks us to take care of our bodies, to truly nurture ourselves. A way of life.’ No secret at all Annelies, as you live this openly every day!

  22. What is so beautiful here Annelies is that you know your purpose with nursing now, you know why you are there and what you are doing whereas in the past you could not quite pinpoint that: ‘And if you asked me at that time why I had chosen nursing as a profession I would not have been sure what to answer.’ It would be an interesting question for all of us to ask ourselves – why have we chosen our job and what is it that we are bringing.

  23. Yay! The marriage of nursing with true religion – what a great step forward towards the eventual union of Western Medicine with Esoteric Medicine that is the cornerstone proposition of this site. Thank you, Annelies, for bringing all of you back to health care.

  24. I am beautifully reminded of my father as I read your article. He wouldn’t go to church but had an innate connection with God, and was the most gentle of men amongst all the roughness of outback Australia, treating everyone equally … and he had the most amazing voice…☺

  25. My secret (although it is not a secret) of joyfully working 7 days a week (at 60) is also true religion and purpose. My religion is The Way of The Livingness and it has completely transformed my life, health, relationships and well-being in the most wonderful way.

  26. How often do people not appreciate themselves and burnout. It seems to be a modern day plague and something that not many are speaking about.

    1. True Rosie and nurses are not used to appreciating themselves and are very likely to get frustrated when they don’t get the appreciation from management and or patients. There is a lot of longterm sickness absence and a lot of shame when this is caused by a burnout. I know for myself when I was burned out in my twenties, I did not want any phone calls or visits from colleagues as I did not want them to see me like this, as a failure. I no longer feel this way about a burnout and can see how when we don’t care for ourselves and appreciate the qualities we bring, we cannot keep up with the huge demands of the work, we override what we feel and at a certain point our body says stop in one way or the other.

  27. “I have built a relationship with myself, a loving relationship that is forever deepening.: To me this is the key to all that you have shared, building a loving and appreciative relationship with yourself, this then radiates out into all that you do.

  28. Religion is a relationship with God from the body first, I know this I am settled and content much of the time no reaching for ways to check out, like I once did. I walk with this knowing / religion everyday.

  29. What you share is something that we can all apply to our own lives no matter what we do. Because it is not just about what we do but the connection and quality that we go about life. To re-imprint this is an opportunity worth going for, as it has been the game changer for those that have.

  30. A beautiful sharing of true Religion and the love we are lived in our every moment .”Religion that lives within you and in the relationship with yourself first before anything or anyone else. A religion that unites people as we are all the same and asks us to take care of our bodies, to truly nurture ourselves. A way of life.”

  31. Being patient is the core ingredient of love and no matter what our work place is and the service we provide- when we make our movements about this and nothing else the quality and healing we offer ourselves and others is felt.

  32. I know that my relationship with me comes through everything in my life, and I really appreciate when I can see the Grace in that reflecting back to me to appreciate and confirm that choice I am making.

  33. If we were to consider religion to mean our relationship with all things in life, we can certainly change our relationship and perspective with our work by dealing with the quality in which we approach work.

  34. ‘A religion that unites people as we are all the same and asks us to take care of our bodies, to truly nurture ourselves. A way of life.’ Stunning Annelies. The wisdom and power with which you share here is inspiring and wow, what a blessing to the patients you care for, the hospital staff and everyone you come across.

  35. The world has made religion into something it is not when in fact it is as simple as feeling our divine connection to God.

  36. When connected to my heart and allowing what is within to guide me rather than what or how I think/assume the world is asking of me, I can’t not love people! Today being with people is one of the greatest parts of my job. I can’t say I’ve groaned or hated going to work for many years now since learning and applying true religion to my life.

  37. “I appreciate the quality of stillness I bring to my life and thus to the patients I care for”
    What a blessing Annelies for you and for the people you deeply care for.

  38. It’s funny really how we can convince ourselves that we have moved on never to return. What I love is how things come back round in cycles so we get to re-imprint and guaranteed something from the past that was not completed in true harmony will definitely come back.

  39. Your experience Annelies indicates how religion has actually give you a greater sense of purpose in life that is beyond what you do but instead comes from your connection with yourself and the equalness we all have inside us. It goes to show that true religion is indeed part of living a healthy, joyfull and loving life with all.

  40. In many professions it is important to differentiate the actual working environment that often is characterized by a certain level of giving-up, frustration, stress, etc and the potential or vocation of the occupation. Only when we live the potential and thus true purpose we will enjoy it and bring the blessings of who we are in what we do to everyone involved.

  41. The statement ‘my body is a temple’ is so gorgeous and profound, asking us to appreciate that divinity is within and that what we live, breathe and move is made of something far greater than just physical cells.

  42. “The love I feel inside is what is coming out and this is true religion, me living me.” a world changing way of living and being with oneself. Deeply inspiring and a great reflection of what is possible no matter our industry.

  43. Annelies, this is so lovely; ‘And so I can say I am religious; no church, no temple other than my own body, my own heart. I take all of me to my job, to my colleagues and the patients I love and care for.’ This feels like true religion and is so different to what we are sold religion is in the world; ‘traditional’ religion seems to me to be going to church, doing as I’m told, following someone who is more knowing and more religious than me, whereas this true religion that you share is for all of us and we do not need a building to go to to pray, God lives inside all of us, equally so and if we choose to we can connect and be with God every day in all that we do – very beautiful.

  44. It’s so clear to us when things do not work. We often do them till we have completely proved to ourselves it’s too hard to do. This often involves much head-bashing against metaphorical brick walls, with a big cost to our body. But what you show Annelies is that it’s not the job or thing we do but the way and purpose we have that is important to change. When we work from Love instead of need it’s a totally different ball game.

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