I certainly know I would benefit if I was to commit to a single act of Love towards someone else every day.
Just one. Nothing huge. Maybe small. It could be easy and it’s better than nothing at all.
A smile and a wave or a helpful hand. Possibly a hug or a moment of your time. Your patience will do or a few kind words to lift them up if they’re feeling blue.
I would be happy to do so and to make it a habit. That gift of grace and Love to another. Taking the focus off me and giving it to my brother.
Today, I will remember that it’s not all about me, but the people around us that make up our days and the loved ones that surround us late into the night. Maybe I can make a small kind gesture towards them and see where it leads.
My wife went back to school recently after taking a 26 year sabbatical. The truth of the matter is we got pregnant after one year of marriage while she was getting her master’s degree. Eventually, she had to put her schooling on the back burner.
26 years and 4 children later, she responded to her calling and followed through (unbeknownst to me and our children) by applying to master programs’ in our area and was accepted to both.
She dove head first into the material and committed to the entire process: including the huge technological advances, online submittals and Zoom calls with other classmates. It was a completely unfamiliar world since the last time she stepped foot into a classroom.
In between pick-up’s after practice, grocery store run’s and making dinner for the family, she gave her best effort to her class not knowing what would transpire. I saw her give so much of herself late at night and into the weekends. She struggled and toiled over her papers and asked for help from our children in order to submit them on time.
Yesterday she received her grade the class; 99.4%
She discovered a bit more about herself because she took a chance. She wasn’t sure if she could.
She can. And she will again. And again.
What a wonderful gift to give yourself.
Maybe it would be beneficial for all of us to look at ourselves – mind, body and soul – as a wonderful garden filled with nutrient-rich soil with infinite potential to grow and manifest anything our imagination can create.
We certainly wouldn’t expect to grow wonderful vegetables or beautiful flowers in a depleted bed in which we haven’t spent the time making sure the soil is fit for planting. In addition, we don’t expect to come out to a bountiful harvest the day after planting.
We understand the deal we make with Mother Nature. We accept the fact we’ll have to water daily. We know weeds will creep in over time, but will remain steadfast in protecting our carrots from getting choked out and keep the rows clean of strays and unwanted volunteers. We’re happy to mix in the manure and other composting material to feed our garden in order to keep the beds well-stocked in nutrient-rich soil.
So, why then are we so mystified when our health is depleted – physically, emotionally or mentally – when we haven’t spent the time to Love ourselves enough to get enough rest? Or feed ourselves food that makes us stronger instead of weaker. Or remain in a toxic environment because we’re unable to summon up the courage to walk away from a relationship with someone that doesn’t inspire us to be the best version of ourselves.
Why would we expect anything different?
The answers are in the garden bed.
As a child I was always enamored by the pace with which my grandparents and Great Aunt and Uncle would go through their day. When you’re in your adolescence you typically went full throttle all day and night. Maybe this is why it fascinated me so. How could any human being possibly get anything accomplished at that speed?
While I spun my wheels, made mistakes and traveled down dead-ends, they were methodically and intentionally knocking out tasks, accomplishing and completing everything they set their sights on. And they did it at a tempo that made sense to them.
As a middle-aged man, their style makes so much more sense to me now. We tend to gather a bit more wisdom from all those wrong turns when we were young. From those experiences we gain wisdom and understand the tortoise is always the winner because he is consistently moving forward over the long haul. This, in turn, doesn’t even make it a close race.
The hare is left in a quandary as he catches his breath while staring off into the distance asking, “How?”
Building custom cabinets is not brain surgery. Nobody will die if the measurements are wrong. Getting cut off in traffic will not ruin your day. Odds are you will get over the flu or that nasty cold. You probably won’t remember that you dropped the ball on your work presentation in 3 years.
Perspective in our lives is such a vital tool in our life kit. It’s a way we can find balance from day to day.
After all, some of the most angry and ornery people I’ve ever come in contact with are the ones that don’t have any perspective in life. They over-react to situations which many others would shrug their shoulders and walk away not giving it a second thought.
It always amazes me when people’s perspective takes a 180 degree turn within moments. Receiving a life-ending diagnosis is one of those ways. I would imagine I would certainly look at work or traffic differently. In other words, it would be in it’s right place in my world.
Let’s not wait for something like that to happen before choosing to have a healthy perspective in our lives.
After all, it’s a choice. Our choice.