A friend shared this with me recently, just as it was needed.
“Tis as much a courtesy to ask for a cup of cold water as it is
to fetch it.”
C.S. Lewis and Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy
Some of us were born with the hope and desire – above all – to illuminate as a beacon the worlds around us, to alleviate the pains of loved ones, and to be a safe haven in times of fear. And yet through our own journey we have lost the understanding that others wish also to do the same for us.
We needn’t save the world by depriving others the same possibility. . .for in so doing, we – however unintentionally – deny them what brings them the most joy.
Sometimes in effort to light the paths of others, we remove all but darkness from the one before us – though it would seem a problem all our own, it can easily cast sadness upon those who wish for us also the ability to see. To learn is a lifetime pursuit, even with willingness (which I’ve got in spades!), but I am thankful for those who encourage and enlighten along the way – it truly is a day at a time.
There are times in Life when it seems all light extinguishes, leaving blackness, fear, and despair.
And yet. . .
In the midst of it. . .if we look deep without our inner recesses, we will find the inextinguishable flame we’ve carried all along.
Remember what you have accomplished. Remember the demons you’ve conquered, the tears and blood you’ve shed. For you are a warrior, stronger than anyone else can ever know. You are a survivor, you are beautiful, and you are a beacon of light in spite of all.
It’s easy to judge and to be harsh – I catch myself all the time. Without snap judgements, we argue, the species might not be where it is today. Right…?
The deeper reality is that Life is hard. The more positive we can be, and the more we can bring light into our own lives, and to those around us, the better the ride for us all. There are so many wounded souls, evil in their actions, to whom I wished I could have stressed this point (maybe with a fist!) over my lifetime. . . But along the way I realized it takes oneself to learn, to know the difference, and to make the change – wishing does nothing.
To, however, act in such a way ourselves is to lead by example. Any day could be the one that our upstanding or positive attitude alters the destiny of another.
A single word or gesture is capable of changing a Life – we never know the wars raging around us, nor do others know the ones we face ourselves daily. To inspire a smile can create shifts so great that – without even realizing – you shed light on a once darkened path for a once hopeless soul. Life-giving indeed. . .
Shine you light, for you have much to give, and in so doing brighten the world.
I love this quote from Autism Speaks – there’s nothing more important that encouraging children (your own, or otherwise!) by focusing on their strengths and positives.
The world critiques enough, wearing down the strongest and most brave. . . Therefore at least give children (if not also yourself and your loved ones!), unhindered by the “should,”s “can’t”s, and “bad”s of adult conditioning, the opportunity to meet life with confidence and a smile.