It is easy to feel small, to think we are just one person, to believe we lack the power to produce positive change. It can be disheartening, what is happening in our world. But in truth, we have more power than we give ourselves credit for. One change – just one – can make a difference in the life of someone else. One simple act of kindness can make a difference and it doesn’t have to be costly or elaborate.
A perfect example is the store clerk many people walk past every day without acknowledging their existence, without noticing them or saying a word. I am amazed when I see a customer at a checkout who remains silent. Notice them! A simple “hello” or “how are you?” is enough. When I’ve done this, the clerk usually responds with a smile that actually meets their eyes. Some of them even look surprised to be addressed at all. Then they connect – they smile in return and then I feel good. My giving of a few seconds of my day gives back! The greatest part of this action is that it ripples out. One positive change will feed another. You can’t stop it from happening.
Granted, you will occasionally meet someone who isn’t quite ready to receive your light, but that’s okay. Smile anyway and wish them well. Who know? They may be in the middle of a bad day. Regardless, don’t let negativity from others stop you from reaching out again. Open your heart and remain open – that’s the key. Yes, the world has hurt us at times. It happens. Some have been hurt worse than others, but all of us must remain open to ultimately find healing.
A little story…
When I was about twelve years old, my family and I went to the beach. I loved playing in the ocean and had absolutely no fear of it. I would search for shells and sand dollars and try to catch the waves that flowed by. One day, I walked into the ocean and caught my big toe on the edge of a sand dollar, tearing a small gash. When I was a kid, you only went to the doctor if something was broken or bleeding profusely, so I carefully bandaged it every day and eventually it healed, leaving a small scar.
A later time at the beach, I carefully waded into the ocean, stepping gingerly to avoid attacking sand dollars. As with most beaches, there were jellyfish too. Many of us know someone who has stepped on one and gotten burned (or at least watched the Friends episode with the jellyfish). Naturally I was a bit more cautious after my run-in with the sand dollar…not quite so fearless anymore. Anyway, I wade out to water that’s about thigh-high and pause for a moment to look around. Kids are playing, people are laughing, the sun is shining – all in all, a perfect day at the beach. A second later, I felt something brush against my leg. I looked down and saw the biggest jellyfish I had ever laid eyes on. Well, I didn’t simply back up and move away. Oh, no. I turned and ran – well, as fast as one can run in thigh-high water. Once I reached shore, I ran to the safety of my towel, a screaming mimi all the way. You would have thought I had seen a shark.
Needless to say, I didn’t get back into the water during that trip. On any trip after that, I limited myself to wading ankle-deep. I stuck to the safety of sand castle building and shell seeking – and robbed myself of joy. I kept the ocean at arm’s length, making sure I had an easy escape. I was given the opportunity to jump in and experience something beautiful, yet ran away because of fear. How often has that happened for you? Have you bypassed opportunities and avoided connection due to fear, irrational or otherwise. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out anymore due to fear. I want to remain open to people, experiences and opportunities that could ultimately enrich my life and offer me the chance to enrich others. In any matter that involves the heart, there is risk. I choose to take the risk. I want to connect.
When my journey here is complete, I want to have lived my life fully. What happened in the past is irrelevant. I lived years blind to the power of fear or how it affected my life. Now I know, and I refuse to give in again. My burning desire is to push against my comfort zone and stretch the boundaries. I have always known I was put on this planet to serve. When I’ve spent days holed up, struggling against a deadline, doing soulless work with no face-to-face interaction, I began to shrink. I withered a little each time. This is what led me to pursue becoming a life coach and grow more as a writer. My ultimate goal is to connect with others – primarily to help them find their power and purpose.
Sometimes we need to be among those who are like-minded, those who get us. But sometimes we need to be with others who think differently, who challenge our thinking. This enables us to stretch and grow and become more aware. We are energy and everything around us is energy. Energy is not stale or static. It constantly moves, evolves and changes. We must remain open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Many of our younger generation has an amazing power. They are wide open, willing to engage in new thought and new ideas. And they are willing to act. They are the ones that will ultimately bring positive change to this world. I want to join them.
The need for human connection is real. Those who think they are connecting through social media or other electronic means are lying to themselves. We need to be among other humans. No one can live in permanent solitude and be genuinely happy. It’s why solitary confinement is a punishment. It disconnects us from what makes us human. It is true that some have made peace with being alone. Some have even found enlightenment. But eventually most people reconnect and find fellowship with others.
We are not meant to walk this path alone, but rather meant to help and encourage one another. We are all one, connected on an unseen level. It’s time to re-engage. It’s time to connect.