Giving is not about what we receive in return, and ought to be without expectation.
That which we are blessed to receive, however, is worth cherishing.
I have always believed that people come into our lives for a reason. And I believe that – in time – it has always proven to be so…
Whether a stranger with whom you briefly converse, or a best friend of many years, there are always lessons, blessings, or both that we gain as a result.
There is ever an underlying purpose in paths crossing. . .
Sometimes people bring a lesson we so desperately need in effort to grow in our strength and resolve.
Others teach us just by being who they are . . .
Perhaps they expose our rougher edges, much in need of love, repair, and polishing…
Perhaps they awaken the idea that what has worked for so long no longer truly serves us in a positive way.
And perhaps they bring out what is best in us – our ability to love, to cherish, to smile, to laugh…
One of the most valuable lessons we learn is that we are all different – sometimes drastically so!
We process differently…
We see the world through lenses colored by our own unique experiences which are, therefore, of a hue no other person will truly comprehend first-hand.
We learn that our ways of doing things may work best for us, but that they may not work for others…and that’s okay.
We develop an overarching understanding that expectations based on what we know / believe / feel may lead to disappointment (because we don’t all think alike). . .but also that we have a right to how we feel.
Being human means, ultimately, a very complex life! But we can find freedom in recognizing that we are different, and only in control of ourselves… In that way, we accept what is, we accept others as they are, and we do what we can about our contribution.
Some people will drift out of our lives as quickly as they came. . .and others will profess a love and commitment so deep that they will ever be by your side.
Both have given us gifts.
Either way…we are changed (and, in spite of human “baggage” that we all may carry, I’d argue for the better – Opened eyes don’t close as easily, and hearts that have weathered many storms are stronger in the end. . . )
MOST of the time I *try* to be a decent human being. I try to reflect on my behaviors – good, bad, and ugly – and to conduct myself in an upstanding way as much as I can.
I ALSO fall short plenty!
As human beings, we are subject to more influences than I think we ever want to admit (hell, even the moon has me all off kilter when it’s full!) We are subject to changes in mood, for so many reasons that it would be nigh impossible to list them all. But that’s okay. We are allowed to ebb and flow, because that is just the nature of life. We don’t have to be perfect all the time, and even if we have some grandiose notion that we’d like to be. . .it doesn’t always play out that way.
But the other day a thought came to mind that stopped me right in the middle of my “if-the-car-in-front-of-me-doesn’t-speed-up-I’m-going-to-go-nuts!” rant. It was such a jarring thought that my attitude shifted. Instantaneously.
I have the wonderful fortune of volunteering with children with disabilities with two organizations – I’ve never found something that lit my heart quite as much (and that’s saying a LOT, as I am a truly passionate person about my life, my activities, and the careers I have had.) I love the kids, and I love meeting their parents – learning about them, their individualities, and what makes them happy, is an overwhelming joy.
So as I was having this moment of “can’t stand anyone” (and I think it was in reaction to a woman tailgating on the highway and giving me the middle finger, despite that I had no idea what I did to warrant it) I thought to myself. . .
What if the person in that car who I’m getting all flustered because of, or at, was one of the parents of the kids I get to work with? Would I act the same way?
I wasn’t *trying* to give myself a guilt trip, or make myself feel badly. When my behavior deviates – and I think it’s fair to say, as adults, we generally know when we are being unreasonable and inappropriate with our reactions (should we choose to be honest with ourselves!) – I am aware of it. I do try to correct myself and in effort to curb poor actions, I have said to myself everything from “you never know who has a weapon!” “you can’t take back what you say,” to “that really doesn’t make me a good person to flip someone off”…!
Doesn’t always seem to calm me down, though!
But. . .the thought that it *could be* someone in a situation such as the families whose children I work with shut me down pronto.
I would never want to behave that way with one of them. And when I think about it, I can’t imagine I really want to act that way with ANYone. What does reacting poorly say about me anyway? Nothing grand, I assure you!
When I think about it, it makes me feel sad that I would allow temporary emotions to overcome me in such a way that I lash out – in any regard. As a human being, I know it is bound to happen, and that expecting myself to be Miss. Goody Twoshoes is NOT realistic. But because I don’t know what other people are facing, and because I also know how blessed I am, I appreciated the supernal reminder. . .which stopped me from getting angry, or for the woman who flipped me off to ruin more than the few seconds of my day during which she did so.
I know I’m going to fall short sometimes, but that moment was one I know I will remember. . .
I have the blessing to work with those who have a journey fraught with challenges, and I LOVE the work because I have the opportunity to make lives better. To behave poorly as a result of flared emotions is to contribute in a negative way, and I will suffer personally when I choose that route. The only thing that would make it worse is to also hurt someone else who didn’t deserve it to begin with…and I’d say I don’t really want to decide that someone deserves any of that.
In spite of things that may not go your way, or things you wish you had…there are a thousand more things that, if you looked closely, you’d realize were blessings beyond measure.
To remain within the present moment is to appreciate, to the fullest, the gifts we have been given. In so doing, we tap into the deeper magic of abundance, allowing more of the “good” to come into our lives and consciousness.
Life is bound to time, and time will wait for no one…but in each moment is the opportunity and promise of love, life, joy, breath, health…should we choose to stay within the present, and recognize that which we do have.
My baby girl looked a vampire with those beautiful fangs (ones which, I daresay, she bared to all but her thankful mum.) ❤
I had the painful task of helping her transition – with her permission, which I had – just under four months ago. I still cry when I think of her, and I feel a void where once her little voice sounded, but I will ever be thankful that she and I were united nearly 13 years ago – she was the closest life I had for a while.
She was, without question, my little girl, through and through…and how blessed I was she chose for me to fulfill that role for her, because wild animals DO choose. ❤
When we open our hearts to the Universe, it gives us the gift of being able to be present with others – human or otherwise – to offer our love, and to be there when friendship, compassion, trust, and mercy are needed most.
While in some ways I felt I didn’t have the right, it was a responsibility I would fulfill to the very best of my ability…for her. For my angel.
Never stop saying “I love you” – to hear those words can alter the course of a day. Or a lifetime.
Never stop appreciating those who make your world brighter, including their quirks, differences, eccentricities…even those qualities that irk you from time to time. Remember to let them know in words and actions…
Hold their hand just because. Kiss them when they least expect it. Give them a hug, or leave them a positive note, or just call to say “hello.”
The “little things” have the power to alter the deepest pain, fiercest anger, and most pressing frustrations. They remind us of our blessings when we lose sight of them, and they remind those we love that they are valuable in this life…in our life.
Life is precious, and so very fleeting – Love is a gift to cherish, but above all to share and express. To “give back” ensures that what time we – and our loved ones – do have is lived to the happiest full. ❤
As the wise saying goes. . .
It isn’t designed to put Life into a negative light, nor to add a sense of morbid urgency. . .but the idea is that Life – truly – is a gift.
The people we love, the blessings we have. . .most of all, our own breath, are gifts.
To recognize the temporal confines of this “go ’round” is to bring our awareness to the beauty, the good, the positive, the happy.
We have no control over how much time we are – or are not – given, nor the time given those we cherish. . .
We can, however, find joy in each present moment. We have the choice.
If you find you cannot. . .endeavor to seek it out – fervently – lest time march past before you discover you had the power all along.