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.
We expect so much out of life and the people around us. Today, be the unexpected. Be the smile, the kind voice, the helping hand that reaches out when no-one else does. Be kindness, offer motivation and be the reason someone feels a tiny sparkle of hope. You can change the world one small act of kindness at a time.
Before I pick my son up from school, I walk at the local YMCA. The track is located above the basketball courts where the after school program takes place. There are kids yelling and running and bouncing. To be honest, after coming directly from yoga, the noise and the movement really gets on my nerves. A week ago I walked into the restroom where two little girls insisted I go first. They were chatty and smiled at me through missing teeth. I smiled back half heartedly. Yesterday, they met me there again. They told me they watch for me so they can come and say hello. This time, I knelt down and I looked them both in the eyes. I am very happy to see you both today I said through a warm, inviting smile. See you tomorrow then?
It takes one person to warm your heart. One person to show a kindness you didn’t notice before. Look for the blessings. They are there waiting for you to notice. Those little girls made an enormous difference. I am so grateful for them.
Today is an important day to remember that you get back exactly what you give out. There is energy all around us, an ebb and flow of give and take. If you give off resistance, you invite resistance back into your life. If you offer respect and humility, that same humility and respect will be returned to you. We have to be very cautious and remember that what we focus on is what we get more of. We do have control over what we bring into this world. We shape it with our thoughts and actions but it is imperative to be painfully honest with ourselves. Do we fight for tolerance while at the same time being intolerant ourselves? There is no justification to skirt around this. The truth doesn’t change to fit your agenda. You cannot apply labels to someone else and excuse that same behavior for yourself because your reasons are justified. From where I stand, I don’t see much tolerance or respect or even dignity as we stand across from each other pointing fingers. Unless you are truly willing to take an honest look at who you are, then don’t think you have the right to look at anyone else. Be bigger. Be better. Be real change and a leader who stands up for what is right period. Not for this group or that group but rather make a stand for behavior that portrays humility, kindness, respect and dignity. You can be part of the crowd or you can stand out alone and scream, follow me. I will show you a new way. On this day, choose peace not pride, unity over division, love over hate and hope over despair.
I love to evolve. Maybe even to the point that it’s painful. Seeing so many insults being flung among people lately, I have finally recognized how important it is to respond positively and respectfully. I’m not one to think before I speak. In fact, I am honest to the core and sometimes that can be extremely hurtful to anyone on the receiving end of my truth telling. But tonight, I have committed to a new gentleness in my speaking. I can choose to be critical or I can choose to be quiet. I can choose to make someone feel bad or I can say something that will make them smile. Don’t we all need to feel good these days? Don’t we want the people who make us feel special and tell us we do something right around us more than someone who always makes us feel like everything we do is wrong? Don’t we need to hear, of course you can rather than I don’t think you can? I did it tonight. I finally made the conscious choice to keep my criticism to myself. We need to give more compliments, more pats on the back and use more words to make someone smile. We can make little changes than can mean the world to the people we interact with. Let’s hope I can carry it through to day two.
Imagine if everyone in your life minded their business and took care of their own responsibilities. I know for myself, when all I have to do is worry about me, I am happy. I don’t mean that in a selfish way. I mean, when I am doing everything I need to do, including keeping myself in a good way by doing right by my mind, body and spirit, I am truly at peace. Negativity is like lint on a new pair of black pants. At first you only notice one or two specks but before you know it, you are completely covered. When you have to carry someone else’s load on top of your own, it starts to wear you down. You become so overwhelmed while the people who have dumped their responsibilities onto you sit back and take a few hours to themselves. That extra weight on your shoulders turns into anxiety, resentment and anger which replaces all happiness with negativity. It isn’t as simple as taking a lint roller and cleaning that stuff off. It means handing that lint roller over to the person who got it all over you in the first place to start to remove it piece by piece. Why is it some do all and the rest do none? Why can’t people pull their own weight so we could all have a little bit of peace? Maybe I will never know.
My new challenge is for YOU to take something off of somebody else’s hands. Offer out of the blue, to do something that makes life easier for someone around you. It could be as simple as holding open a door when somebody’s hands are full. Then pray they pay it forward.
Be the change!