This post is borne out of a comment I made on Broke Down Spirit’s blog post from June 10.
Everybody gets to read your obituary (that, usually, someone else writes), but precious few actually know who you are when you are alive.
That, to me, is devastatingly sad.
We suffer too much.
We rejoice too little.
What are we doing about it?
What does that mean? I’m “safe” when I’m dead? There’s no more threat?
We say stuff like:
Dance like no one is watching….
…Love like you’ve never been hurt…
…Work like you don’t need the money…
…Cook like you’re the only one eating…(or you’re unabashedly prepping for the love of your life!)
…Sew like you’re the only one that will wear it?
Who really means it?
This was my reply:
I’m an incurable romantic. I don’t mean in the contemporary sense with the sexualization of romance…but in the sense of relying heavily on intuition and emotion. But I’m also well-grounded too. My experiences in life have balanced this romantic side so that I don’t necessarily live with rose-colored glasses on, rather, I’m able to understand the hard realities that many people face.
I don’t know anyone (any woman at least) quite like me. I mean, I don’t know anyone who goes around with lofty ideals in my head and thinks about the great philosophers of the world, who sees correlations between what’s been written about in literature in the past and the current state of the human condition, who has experienced first-hand suffering at the hand of another and who has seen the abuses (homicides and sexual assaults) in my former line of work.
I don’t quite honestly know how I can still be a romantic knowing what I know about the evil in the world…yet, I still have hope. I still reach out to those who I feel need uplifting.
I feel quite confident that should I die today, I have done my very best to make at least a few others feel less alone in the world, more understood. The art of writing from the heart is waning…being replaced by quick email exchanges. But I don’t use it that way. I use technology to help convey my feelings, to share the love I have for those special to me, and my blog for those who I don’t know as well to uplift those who are hurting.
While I have not thought of it in a completely religious vein, I suppose I am using my gift of writing to fill others up.
I wrote an email not to long ago to a friend of ours who got laid off from work and is now a SAHD to is 3 year old son and infant twins. I hadn’t heard a response for about a month, when all of a sudden, he replied and told me, “you don’t know how timely your email was”. And he confessed to me that once a week he tried to calculate if he had enough life insurance to sustain his family. That broke my heart…when you feel you are worth more dead than alive. Needless to say, I’ve since written him even more (hopefully) uplifting words.
I can’t let the sun go down on me without doing everything I can to spread my message of love and hope. I can’t possibly be the only one like that, can I?
But…that’s just it. I can’t be the only one, can I? I mean, I’m no Mother Theresa, but I keep attuned to people, not just the words they say, but all the words they don’t say, sensing their hidden pain that they are too afraid to vocalize because they know “everyone has problems and what good would it do anyway” to share theirs. My mission has always been to “target” the lost and the hurting and do what I can to salve their pain. My efforts might not be recognized at the time, but I don’t do what I do for the recognition. I do it in the hopes that they pay it forward – helping someone else because they’ve been helped themselves when they were down.
I know not everyone can possibly operate the way I do, but I find it exceptionally hard to believe that I might be more rare than I think I am. Is it really that hard to give of oneself, even in small ways to show others you care without expecting anything in return except the knowledge that you are playing your part in helping your fellow man (or woman) get through this life?
Please share your stories, your blog posts, anything. I need to know I’m not the only one. What was the last thing you’ve done (beyond your immediate family) to lift someone else up?