Updated: Feb 3, 2021
The resonating voice and powerful words of National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman lay on my mind. As she passionately reflected, each of us have an opportunity to “be” the light. Knowing this, what do we do to acknowledge the pain we’ve lived, yet not be stopped and continue onward, forward? Service to others is the lifeblood and sense of purpose for many of us. Without it, we struggle to create true meaning or connection, we can’t help.
So many of you have bravely, plainly shown your heart and the kindness of humanity that can exist even in the most difficult times. With your efforts to support others, whether within your own nuclear or extended families or as an integral community provider, it is also important to note that you need others to support you. The daily grind of pushing past our physical and emotional limits can become a solitary and exhausting exercise. None of us can truly have the expectation of replenishing others while routinely running on empty. Not only do we need awareness of our empty tank, we need clear recognition of what makes us full. Today, I encourage you to ask yourself- what are the physical and emotional connections, experiences, outcomes that I need to feel better, to live better, to give better?
Often, these are the important details that we inadvertently ignore, unconsciously dismiss, and yet react to the most. I encourage you to create a resolution that goes beyond a year, but is one you establish for a lifetime, one that actively cares for you while you also care for others. This may sound aspirational, but don’t stop there. You can transform a vision into action by taking the needed steps. Sometimes we become so stuck inside our grey matter that we trap ourselves into thinking we can’t make progress.
You're probably familiar with the saying, “Failure isn’t an option.” Well, it’s not entirely true. We may avoid taking a step because we only anticipate falling. Yet the reality is, that we need to acknowledge the truth about our humanity and anticipate the fall. I remember the extra measures taken to babyproof our home when my daughters started toddling. The ups and downs are part of the process of learning what we need, learning what works and doesn’t. Falling happens to ALL of us at some point, but then gives us the opportunity to understand ourselves, fine tune, accept help, and continue going, growing.
For those of us parents, with little ones in times past or present- Do you remember days when you prayed for your baby to sleep for a few hours, day or night, so you could take a nap too, maybe even take an elusive shower? And when they woke up you crossed your fingers that they would lay quietly a bit longer while you folded laundry, paid bills. Well what would happen if time went by and day after day your baby just lay there, no sense of eagerness to leave their crib and get out and explore, gain their footing and the confidence to walk, to run. That initial glee at a few more moments of quiet, would turn to worry, concern.
As human beings we all need a way out. A way to revive our dreams and goals, and allow ourselves freedom. Sometimes in adulthood we become hardened to the notion that we continue to need support despite being in positions where we routinely give it. How many years have you spent on the sidelines of your own life, caring for others while hardly acknowledging yourself? Caring for ourselves too is an investment that allows us to return our best to others. Decide where it is you want to go and what you need to get there. Recognize you will stumble along the steps of life, but make a plan to prop yourself up, ask for help, and to arrive at your destination.
Make Time For Healing,