There are few things more satisfying to this writer than getting comments from readers who express gratitude for my offerings. I'm NOT kidding. It's such a joy to hear from people who have been inspired by my meanderings, and to know that in some small way I'm actually helping. It's SUCH a thrill.
Just this morning, as I was making my morning brew, I got to thinking about this new day and what I could to do to insure that I leave a mark. In other words, what can I do TODAY that will enhance someone's life, even if it's merely to bring a smile or nudge them over a hump. What can I do to lend some hope? What can I do to encourage someone, ANYONE, to trust their wings and fly?
Before I go further, let me first say that I'm no Mother Theresa. I'm not a saint or some kind of selfless angel. In fact, it's taken me years to find the balance between 'selfless' and 'selfish'. I happen to believe that we need to be selfish sometimes. It's a matter of taking care of who you are so you CAN help people. I'm still learning. There are certainly times when that balance is skewed and I don't necessarily do what might be considered 'best' for someone else. But then...I'm human. I don't beat myself up over that kind of stuff. I am who I am....and I make no apologies for my shortcomings.
That being said, I do feel that it's one of life's greatest pleasures to help people and see the results of that effort. Whether it's writing a post or sending a card or letting someone scooch in front of me in the grocery line, all those things give me a sense of my humanity. I like that part. I also like when someone, like the woman who sent that lovely message, writes to say thanks. Makes me grin from ear to ear and do my little happy dance. What can I say? I'm pretty easy to please.
Anyway, so there I was thinking about my day and what to do with it (besides work on my next book, which seems to be taunting me these days) and doing my best to think outside the ol' proverbial box. I don't guess I have to tell you about boxes, huh? We all get stuck in them sometimes, whether it is laziness or merely a lack of energy, it's not uncommon to fall into that dull, boring repetition of "just another day". The thing is, it's equally easy to get OUT of said rut. All it really takes is awareness. Just noticing you're there is about as much oomph as you need to get outta there. Not hard. Just mindful. So...
I read the message and that led me to take an inventory of what I'd done thus far this month; what have I offered to help? What kind of difference have I made? Not just in the lives of others, but in my own life? Have I done anything that might have made life better for them and/or for me?
The answer is: yes. Yes I have. As much as that may sound egotistical, please know that is NOT where I'm coming from. Taking an inventory (so to speak) is essential to gratitude. How can you be grateful if you don't know what you have? Not just in material possession, but in spirit as well. What do you HAVE and what can you give? Because it all boils down to this:
We are here to live the best life we can live. We are NOT here to struggle, fight, resist, ail, grieve, worry, etc., etc., ad nauseam. We are here to live joy-filled, exquisite lives and let that joy ripple out into the world. The happier WE are, the more we can spread that happiness. Same goes (alas!) with misery. You know that adage, "misery loves company"? Well, sadly, it's true. But so does HAPPINESS (love company). Think about it. When something awesome happens in your world, don't you want to tell someone? Don't you want someone else there to celebrate your triumph? Isn't it so much more fun to share the good news than to keep it to yourself?
See what I mean? So, just because I'm not Mother Theresa doesn't mean I don't have a great desire to help. And just because I have my own character flaws, doesn't mean I don't have character assets. I do. And so do YOU. We all have character assets that can be of great help to the world. The trick is to pay more attention to the assets than the flaws. Something that may be a bit more challenging for some folks. It's almost a social programming. We're so bombarded with all the "perfect" people (you know...the models and Hollywood beauties that are shoved down our throats 24/7) it's almost impossible to see ourselves without noting our flaws. But you know something? Even the most 'beautiful' people who are delivered to us in all their paint-brushed glory have doubts, fears, insecurities and things they dislike about themselves. Don't for a second think that the perfection we 'see' is real. It is NOT. WE are real. WE are human. (well, at least we're having a 'human experience' at this point...but that's another thought for another day). WE are perfectly flawed. Yep. I said it: PERFECTLY FLAWED. And that, my friends, is what makes the world such a beautiful place to explore. It is in our imperfections that we will find our diamonds. Those are the things that make a difference in our lives and the lives of others.
So then...the next time you think you don't have anything to offer the world, think again. You have some special thing about who you are that makes your presence here on Planet Earth a most remarkable thing. Look for it. Honor it. Use it. Because, as my friend Terri is always reminding me: