There is nothing sweeter and more inspiring than seeing the love between two people. There is an elderly couple who walks at the YMCA the same time I do everyday. The husband is in better shape so he walks at a faster pace but every time he passes his wife, he lovingly rubs her back and keeps on going. He does this every single time and it brings a smile to my face each time I see it. With such hostility and anger in our world today, it warms my soul to witness such gentleness and inspirational love. If you think you don’t make a difference in someone’s life you are probably wrong. We don’t even know the ways we inspire the people who are watching us from the sidelines. This is a reminder to show kindness. Share it, spread it and inspire it in every person who crosses your path. Be a light and lead the way. You are the difference.
Sometimes I wake up to a load I don’t feel ready to carry. I barely have my eyes open and animals need to be let out, dishes are in the sink, laundry is so backed up I can’t see over it with 100 things on my to do list. My mind wanders to my kids who are fighting battles of their own and I wince as I think of family far away sitting at a funeral I’m too far away to attend. I whisper to myself quietly, you’ve got this and thank the Lord that this weight that is mine to carry is not too heavy at all. I may not want to face the day but I am more than equipped to handle whatever comes my way. Sometimes it’s okay to admit I need a little rest or to reach out to others for support when I cannot muster up my own.
Whatever battles you are fighting, remember you are not alone. Most of us are most likely feeling the same way. We may hide our worries and troubles behind a half hearted smile but they lurk there quietly as we go about our day. Be kind to everyone you come across. Look into their eyes so they know that someone really sees them. Spread some kindness and compassion and leave people feeling happier than when you found them. It’s the small things that make the biggest impact. Do your part.
I am so grateful my son gets excited about random acts of kindness. Today I got a text from him explaining to me what happened during lunch. Starting this year, the kids are allowed to leave campus and eat at the local restaurants. I know like most parents, my husband and I give Chase an allotment and it has to last him all week. Realistically I know it’s near impossible so somedays the kids eat fries or split something. Today they walked a half mile to a local fast food place. All the kids were eating except for one when the manager approached and asked why? She explained she was out of money for the week and the manager brought her a small bite to eat adding that she couldn’t go all day without eating. Some may find this offensive but to me, this is humanity at its best. My son was very moved at her concern and kindness and I can only hope that this is something that someday he might pay forward. All it takes is one person to notice and care enough to make someone’s day a little bit brighter. Thank you to the kind women who offered such hope in a time when hope seems sometimes lost. There is no doubt we will share the word and fully support this local business. Thank you for being the change we so need in the world. This is the America I grew up in and love. This is the America where we have one another’s back and reach out through our community to take care of one another.. This is the America where kindness and compassion are practiced each and everyday. Yes, there is hope and today it came from a manager who sent this wonderful ripple out into our community.
Move in day is over and done. I learned a very important lesson through the process of dropping my daughter off at college. It’s really simple but something that may not register until you experience it yourself. Don’t tell people how to feel. In a world where we think we have the right to tell people how to act and what to believe, it is even more dangerous to tell them how they should feel. If someone is sad or hurting, be supportive. Even if you don’t get it or you think someone’s reaction is a big time overreaction, just give them a verbal hug. We all react to everything that happens in our own individual way and some of us are tougher than others depending on what it is we are trying to get through. Let people hurt, cry or grieve and just be there to give an encouraging word. We all have the best of intentions but sometimes we think too little before we speak. This is a reminder to encourage, lend a hand, lift someone up. We could use so much more of that in these trying times where we are all just fighting hard to get by and survive. I am having a difficult time right now. I cried in the grocery store today when I almost picked up that fourth piece of corn. I cried at the dinner table last night when I stared across at the empty chair. My daughter is gone from my nest and I am excited for her but I am sad for myself. And you know what? It’s okay to be sad. It is normal to grieve. Time will heal my wounds and I will get used to her being away but for right now I will give myself a break. Just breathe. Today I will just start with that.
After some really hard work, my inner voice has taken on a brand new tone. As I sat back in my pool float today, I actually heard these words inside my own head. “Relax kid. Enjoy your life”. So that is my mantra for the week. We spend years pondering our purpose in life. Perhaps it is more simple than we ever imagined. Love hard, speak easy, be kind and enjoy the precious life you’ve been given. Have a blessed day.
My lifeless form stood there tired and deflated. I had reached rock bottom and my heart was hurting as I replayed the day’s events over in my mind. I just couldn’t shake the ache. My physical body was present but the shell of emptiness inside of me had a presence that filled the entire arena. My husband surprised me with Florida Georgia Line tickets and I stood on that floor looking at the people around me. They were drinking beer and smiling and I was silently dying. I wanted the floor to swallow me up so I could disappear and find some comfort in sleep.
Depression is a difficult thing. One minute you are fine and the next you are drowning underneath the stress life throws your way. It’s not just something you shake off like a bad mood or a bad day. It swallows you up, consumes you until you are frozen in time desperate for a way out but no energy to make your escape. I share these things because if I suffer in silence, I know others do too. I am blessed to have someone in my life who is patient with me. It isn’t easy for anyone.
It took a while but slowly I felt a smile creep across my face. The breakthrough in that moment was palpable. I could feel the bass shake something inside of me. I could feel something again and I was grateful. Sometimes all it takes is a reminder that there is life inside the shell and the emptiness is only an illusion. These moments don’t always come but when they do you embrace each second, soak up the relief and move on.
Be kind to others around you. You have no idea the demons they face or their struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes we need to feel peace and love and the constant fighting and aggression in the world takes a heavy toll. Sometimes all this meanness makes us want to retreat and disappear to someplace safe. Sometimes we need a happy place but depression makes that place impossible to find. Reach out to someone who looks like they are hurting. Have a conversation, invite someone for coffee. Make someone feel important. These little things go a long way. Be the difference someone needs today.
Don’t get caught in the current today.
Rise above it.
You are love.
You are peace.
Offer yourself as a refuge to those with a heavy heart.
Be a spark of hope.
Lead the charge.