”At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has course to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer.
Certainly this quote speaks to me. I have had many comments and feedback since starting this blog (thank you, I have genuinely loved hearing from you all, please keep connecting) and overwhelmingly the words that have been used are regarding bravery, positivity and honesty. I will look at these in turn.
As I said in a previous post, we are not meant to do this thing called life alone. This is so true of this extraordinarily challenging year. I would not have survived, or indeed you could say thrived, without the support and connection with others and the rekindling of my spark from another person (or indeed I am lucky enough to say people). You know who you are but I will take this moment to say thank you again from the bottom of my grateful heart.
It wasn’t easy for these wonderful people to help me. I struggled with thoughts that I am the one who helps others, not the other way around! But I have discovered a much deeper connection with people through letting go of this limiting belief, this feeling of shame for needing help. As Brene Brown says, “Offering help is courageous and compassionate, but so is asking for help.” This was made easy for me (it wasn’t courageous at all) as I was offered help with no way of saying no! Thank you courageous and compassionate people. I am getting better at this but it is still not easy.
I had always tackled positivity in the past by telling myself to be positive (as clearly this has to be the most agreeable way to live, right?) resulting in varying degrees of success! There is definitely a human tendency to see the ‘bad things’ far more clearly than the ‘good’. It may have helped us recognise a sabre toothed tiger and ensured our survival in the past but it is less helpful in the modern, busy and often stressful world we inhabit. I am using an app every day (recommended by one of those courageous, compassionate people) called ‘What’s Good’. It takes me 5 minutes before bed and it helps me focus and reflect upon the good things that day. Shining a spotlight where they might have become crowded out by the less pleasant ones. So just like with being mindful, it is a daily practice to tone up the muscle in our minds to focus on the good and the positives, with the bonus that you start to notice more of them and build that feeling of gratitude.
Our society is full of pretences and keeping up appearances. I feel deeply that we just don’t talk about issues of a more mental or mindful nature enough - or to show our true selves. Even to be honest with ourselves or each other. Looking at Instagram or Facebook, for example, it is easy to think everyone else has easier and better lives. Of course, this can be seen as a way of focussing on the positives of our lives, but I think that we must also acknowledge the darker times; the ‘failures’; the times when things are less how we would like them to be. This is the truth of life. We must choose to tell our stories wholeheartedly or ‘with courage’ coming from the French word coeur, or heart. Let’s choose to do this together.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African Proverb
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