Good morning, readers of my blog. I say "morning" because, as I am sitting down to write this blog, it is 9 am on Wednesday, December the 4th . I'm sitting in my dark dining room, sipping coffee, listening to the only sounds in the house, which are the space heater that sits near me and the tapping sound of the keys on my laptop. Occasionally, I hear the birds chirping outside at my bird feeder. This is my morning calm. This is where I sit and decide how far into the writing or internet world I want to go. This is where I started thinking about the question I was asked recently in reference to the inspirational post, messages, text and tweets I send to people:
"Why do you do it?"
I guess I should give some context as to why the question was posed in the first place. This friend and I had been talking about a message I had sent via Facebook Messenger to a few friends. After receiving the message this friend started chatting back and forth on how great the message was and how it was just what the friend needed. Now, I must admit I get that type of response often, which is definitely a great feeling. But that is not the point. As the friend and I continued to talk the friend said, "People are so lucky to have someone like you who shares such thought-provoking and/or inspiring messages with them." I actually laughed and then responded that I am sure a few enjoy it, but overall I wouldn't really know. My friend was perplexed, and after a few more messages back and forth, I finally said that only about 1/3 of the people I reach out to actually respond to my messages. Out of those who do, 3/4 of them are emoji responses (i.e. thumbs up, heart, smiley face) and the other 1/4 of responses are some form of written response even if it is simply "thank you." I said, basically, if I sent 30 people a message, 10 of them would respond, 7 of those would use emojis, and 3 would actually respond with words. My friend sat with this for a moment and replied that, with all the great stuff I share, it seems like a waste of time if very few people appreciate it. Then came the question, "Why do you do it?" What an interesting question. Why do I do it? Of course, I knew the answer, which I shared with my friend and that was it. Over the past days, similar questions have come up, not only for or about me, but for others doing positive things for people, which brings me to this blog and explaining why I do it.
The other day I was walking in my drive way and saw this puddle. Every now and again I like to take a "reflective" picture, looking through the puddle. Normally it's a tree or a building or something of that nature. In my driveway, there was nothing in the puddle's display. Then I stood over it and saw, well, me. I snapped this picture and liked it enough to send to a friend who would appreciate the artistic nature of it. In any case, as I was looking for pictures I would share with this blog, this is one of the first I saw and it is perfect for my response.
You see I share my thoughts, my blogs, my grams (insta), my tweets and messages because they reflect me. They reflect what I believe in or feel and, in that, what I want to share with the world. When I look at this photo I know I am looking at a reflection of me and no matter what I want that reflection to be something I'm proud of looking at. When I share my messages I know that someone will see their reflection in it. Someone will find value, purpose, or understanding in it. If one person connects with it, then I know sharing it was worth it. The fact is that I don't share for people to praise me. I share because someone may need a reminder or even a little break from the day. If I can do that, then I am happy. This is my reflection. This is what I give to the world, and, if I'm lucky, the world gives me the same.
As I travel this world from one day to the next I truly enjoy the things, places and people I get see and interact with. I enjoy seeing people share what they love, not for any other reason than just to share. I often see this when I make a stranger laugh. I love laughter and I think you can fix any bad mood with one single laugh. When I learned to see the joy in someone else, I learned to be able to find it and bring it out. I share my messages because I know that it is from a place of love (in me) and it is, for lack of a better term, seeking out the joy in others. I share because so many people are hurting and can't find that little piece of joy. When I learned the pleasure in finding others' joy I learned that I didn't have to "send" anything to bring it. I also learned that not everyone will respond, but they were affected nonetheless. It reminds me of a saying my good friend Beckie, owner of Life Keys Energy (yoga studio), said at the end of the yoga classes I once attended: "The light in me sees the light in you!" Oddly enough, I have a picture for that too.
I share because I believe that inside us all is light that we connect into the light of each other. Some people are radiant in their energetic glow while others seem dark and it's hard to see the light in them. Take this picture for instance. It literally is visual display of how we can be as people. Let me explain. The tree in the center is someone who is a bright light of energy. The energy is radiant and it's blasting out of the core of it. You might find this in one of those super bubbly people that always seems happy, for example.
The tree on the left has a glow around it. It is a light but isn't sharing it from the inside out. This person probably finds the good in most things and shares it with others. This person could be struggling but often will be a conduit for good as helping others helps him/herself. This is that person who is typically happy or a joy to be around and they make you feel better, typically. The tree on the right is dark. There is barely any light coming from it. You can't really see the core of it. If you look closely you can see some light but nothing radiant. This can be like the person who is going through something or is just in the state of blahs more often than not. This person isn't in a storm or downward spiral but more likely not finding all the joy in life. If you look closely at the tree, you see openings for light, and, just like the tree, this person can be "lit up" for lack of a better term. (Now, I should also point out there are some in much darker places, but that isn't where we are going with this blog.) The truth is we all live at some various form of this image at any given time. When I share my pictures, videos and messages I am sharing that light in me. I am sharing the thing that brings me joy. And even though I may only get three people to respond, I really don't know whose "tree" I am helping to brighten so I keep sharing. There is a saying, "Smile because you never know who could be falling in love with it", or something like that, which comes to mind when thinking about this. Who we reach with our joy we may never know, but if we never share our joy, we can never reach anyone. It is that simple.
If you were to drive around my little town of Port Orchard you very well may find me (and/or my biz partner April) on the side of some road pointing my cell phone at stuff. It literally takes me an hour to get home from the gym that I live four miles from. I am always stopping while walking, driving, riding or whatever to capture something that catches my attention. My cellphone has thousands of pictures on it. I share a couple with a few friends. I share one with a thought or caption from time to time. However, people drive by me and they look to see what I am doing. They slow down at times and some even stop themselves. Not long ago I had someone stop and say to me, "I saw you over by (can't remember the place now) with your friend catching the sunset. Wasn't it amazing?" The funny thing about it was that the person said they hadn't noticed the sunset until they saw me (a familiar person next to the road). The person enjoyed the sunset on the way home. Had I not been told that happened, I would have had no idea my actions impacted someone else for the better that day. I was just living my light and it shone to that person.
I'm going to end this blog with two more pictures that I took while leaving the pharmacy here in Port Orchard. As I walked out the door, the trees caught my attention and I stopped. A few people walked by as I was snapping away and I could see a couple of them really look at what I was doing and trying to capture. For me, I was thinking that I was looking at a whole world in this one spot on this tree. After I was done I walked to my truck and drove off. I shared a colored and a black and white version of this with a few friends. Here are both those pictures: