In my life I've only ever wanted to do one thing - help people. Each of my professions, wherever I've volunteered, my philosophy about family and friendship is basically centered around kindness and helping others. For me, it's the only shortcut to happiness as my favorite TV character would say. The only shortcut in life is kindness.
It is the only way to find fulfillment right away as well as in lasting doses. And so that was one of the things that I struggled with most after my diagnosis. The old adage is true, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others, and I honestly didn't know any way to live except for helping others. I felt alone and sad and done.
And then I found blogging. I found a way to help myself while helping others at the very same time. I found something that I could do in the small moments of the day, something that asked little of my energy, my body, my strength, but gave me so much back in return.
Recently several people have told me that they just aren't into blogs or that, most hurftully, they don't read mine in particular. Ouch.
That's definitely one of those times when I want to go back into teacher mode and remind everyone, If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. It's just basic human manners and kindness.
We all follow our own paths, we all experience different and new phases in life. The challenge is not only to accept that for ourselves but for others too. Maybe someone's goals seem far fetched or silly to us but so did Steve Jobs' & so did Dr. King's & so did Eleanore Roosevelt's. She was the first woman to serve on the United Nations counsel, advocating for the rights of children and families around the world. She started off writing a simple and some might say silly advice column in her local newspaper, she went on to be one of the most inspiring women in history.
This isn't to say that everyone we scoff at will go on to change the world, but it is to say that we as humble loved ones are rarely the people who make that choice.
Someone I love gave me a piece of advice once that has proven to be one of the truest and best pieces of knowledge for interacting with people I care about. At the time, I was raving mad because a friend of mine was about to marry someone she had only known for three months (mostly through long distance phone calls & texts)...and then two weeks later he was going to ship off to Iraq for at least nine months. So it would be basically a year into their marriage before she would have had more than a few weeks of face to face conversations with him. I was loosing it and giving her several pieces of my mind.
Then the person I love said this; Life will teach people through the school of hard knocks. The world will hurt them, teach them, and do everything else without you jumping in to kick them as well. And guess what? You can't see into the future. We as friends and loved ones want to believe that we know what's going to happen to the people we care about & so we want to warn or stop them in order to save them pain. And while that comes from a place of love, unfortunately it's just not logical. You might be discouraging someone from making the best decision of their lives. You don't know, none of us know, only time will tell.
Our purpose as firends, loved ones, citizens of the same communities or world is not to try & see into the future and knock down each other's dreams, it is to support each other, be kind to each other, accept our own and others' phases and seasons in life and offer what encouragement and love we can. And if we can't offer kindness, common courtesy, or our encouragement, then at the very least least we can try not to be discouraging or unkind in the process.
That same friend who I was trying to "save" from what I was sure would be certain divorce, turmoil, & heartbreak has now been happily married to her sweet veteran husband for nearly seven years. They have a beautiful baby daughter and all the love and support a family could ask for. What she doesn't have is a friendship with me. She didn't want naysayers around. And looking back, I say good for her. I wish now that I could have found it within myself to support my friend, no matter how crazy her dream seemed because the only one who really lost out was me. She married the love of her life surrounded by friends and family and I wish I could have been there to support her.
I believe that what I'm creating here at Survival & Peace is something worthwhile. I know that these words reach out through time zones and cities and countries all around the world to let survivors know that there is peace to be found in the fight and to let those who are suffering know that this doesn't have to be a lonely battle, we can live in a community of support and education, love and understanding. And with an average of 800 unique visitors each month, that's over 200 individual readers every week, and over 4,000 views last month, I don't need to hear from the two or three individual people who aren't following. This is bigger than that. Hope and Life and Joy are bigger than that.
I'm so happy to have found a way to connect with other survivors and begin helping others again. Better yet, giving survivors a voice to help ourselves. As my mother in law reminded me, If this helps even one person as much as it's helped me, that's worth it. That's amazing. And I believe soon we'll be averaging over 1,000 individual readers each month alone, that's an achievable goal, so as much as I would love the readership of those handful of people that aren't interested, we certainly don't need anyone on board who doesn't believe this ship is destined for something great, for vast seas and beautiful destinations. Calm seas don't make skilled sailors. I'm not as worried about the struggles that lie ahead for me anymore, and I hope that reading these posts helps you through your storms as well.
And sharing this journey with my loved ones, with people all over the world who have become supporters gives me hope. And writing for fellow survivors gives me hope. And connecting with anyone out there going through something unexpected or difficult or painful gives me hope. And hearing from people all over the country and the world who are struggling with the same battle gives me hope. And knowing that these words bring comfort and understanding and togetherness for so many survivors in what can be an unbelievably lonely process gives me so much hope.
And I can't wait to share that hope with every single reader each day. I wake up thinking about it and I go to sleep happy that I've created something good in this world today.
I hope that you find joy in this phase of your life, whatever it may be. And I hope you remember, if you're feeling without joy or purpose, a single act of kindness to someone else, a singe minute or hour or day of helping others, will increase your joy ten times over. None of us in this world have to struggle with changes for long, we just have to reach out and find those things that will bring us fulfillment in the pain, and most importantly, Peace in the fight.
Lots of Love,
Hey Everyone! You might notice that I chose to make a few lines in this article bold. I've seen this technique in other online blogs and journals & it helped me stay interested as a reader.
I've set up a poll so that you can let me know if you like this new style as well or you'd rather I keep to my current style. It's all about you!
Thanks for your feedback & enjoy.