Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
Once Upon a Time...Come on, Ask
Every single person has a story inside. It is the journey that we have lived, up to, & including this very moment. Do you think about the story that is yours alone? Have you shared your story? What is holding you back from sharing your story?
You & I do not sit down to share our stories like the tales that we have read countless times to our children or other children in our lives. The beginning of the conversation with another adult does not start out with a “once upon a time, I was born & then…” Perhaps it would be easier if this was the method of sharing…a bit of a flowchart of sorts. I am joking of course. Every person’s story is incredibly unique…a one of a kind. With whom & how do we share our personal stories & why?
May I offer that I believe that everyone wants to share his or her story with at least one other compassionate person who cares. Whether you or I are more of an outgoing person or a more reserved person, we have a beautiful need to share & connect with others. We each need to feel like our journey matters, that we matter. Perhaps we could even say that this is part of what gives our lives meaning & purpose.
Do you remember that saying, “no man is an island?” May I paraphrase that a little by saying that we each need one another to fully experience the journey that we are living. For some folks, it may be easy to attempt to be super independent & as the song I believe by Paul Anka goes, “I’ll Do it My Way.” Whether a person admits it or not though, that decision will most likely lead to loneliness. Consider this as well that perhaps in order to live your life to the fullest, sharing with others is the recipe that will lead to just that.
Let me share with you that I know I am a willful gal in some ways. Since I am acutely aware of this tendency, I have set up safeguards for myself or a life preserver ring of sorts. When I find myself willfully steering a situation, I laugh literally at the absurdity of my thoughts. Then I remind myself of one of the 3 h’s that I don’t dare leave home without. No, no, I am not speaking of hypo’s or hyper’s here thankfully! Instead, I remind myself of the need for me to look at decisions through the lens of: honesty, humility& humour. Sure, there are lots of things that we can each complete on our own. I am not suggesting that we each become so dependent on one another that we don’t progress with anything on our own. Wouldn’t that paralyze society’s movements in no time if we lived like that? Instead, my suggestion is that for the true maximization of our purpose here on earth that we need compassion, as well as caring community to bring out the most in each of us to turn our individual stories into something truly spectacular. How about if I ask you this question. Would you like to have an ok day, good day or great day? Of course, you are going to say, “I will take the great day please!” Well, when you are asked if you would like to turn your life story into an ok one or a masterpiece, why would your choice be any different? If we choose to keep our stories buried deep within us, how does it feel if we know that there is so much more? It is a little like knowing that we are capable of so much more yet we are choosing less for ourselves when it truly matters.
Okay, Saundie, great, there is the “why” answer of sharing our stories. How about the “with” whom & how parts? Here’s a question to ponder. When you are going to be away from home for several days, do you draw up a large sign that says “please break into our home because we are away until next Thursday” & post it on your lawn? Of course, you & I do not do that for obvious reasons. We can draw some parallels in sharing our lives, stories, dreams, passions & purpose. These are deeply personal truths about us. We may ask ourselves many questions about the types of traits that we need in another person in order for us to become vulnerable enough to share our story. Perhaps we have even shared something profoundly personal with someone in the past & let’s just say that it did not go well. Have we asked ourselves if that has at least in our own minds given us a reason to close ourselves off from present or future sharing of ourselves? If we are answering yes to that question, then let’s go ahead & seek the wise counsel & help to heal from those experiences so that we can move on. Then, my heart’s hope is that you do know at least one person that you can be totally your true self with & can share your beautiful story with. If you cannot think of a person that you can do that with right now, I know with all my heart that you will meet them because that person is out there. We have to put ourselves in the “right” places to make that happen though. Are we going to decide to spend most of our life securely behind our own walls of our home & expect someone to magically ring our doorbell & reach out to us? Or, are we choosing with courage to get out there in the world & find communities of people that lift us up? They are out there. I know because I see them every single day.
As a short aside, we can get into cycles of negative thinking especially if we have an ongoing challenge like either diabetes or an ongoing health challenge. Do we need to permanently reside there though? Is it helping us to fully live our potential & our beautiful story? Negativity can surely be a detour yet in my mind, never a permanent residence. Break the cycle with anything that lifts you in a health building way…physical & emotional & legal of course. You may not want to pick the phone up & ask your friend or family member to meet you for a “Timmy’s.” Do it anyway. Go for a walk. You probably will not “feel” like it. Go for the walk anyway. Better still; go for a walk with a friend in nature if physically possible. It takes courage & wisdom to know that just because we don’t “feel like” doing something that is life enhancing for us, that we need to fight through that barrier & do it anyway. That is the part of being willful that I assure you is beneficial. I have found that I know that I have will over my mind. Just because a thought is in my mind, you better believe that I am the one who decides whether it is nonsense or not.
Okay, so we are not going to choose to share fully our hearts with everyone we meet necessarily. We have the will, intellect, ability & decision to determine who we will share our hearts with. Have you thought about what the heart of the other person must look like for you? None of us are meant to be perfect so I know that we cannot expect that. How about some traits though like: honesty, genuine care, love & knowledge that the other person wants the best for you. You may also love when someone else celebrates the talents that you have up until that point “kept close to your vest.”
How do we share our hearts & stories? That is a question that each of us gets to answer. One that comes to mind though is through the communities that we choose to belong to. We may quietly join a community & initially sit back & listen to everyone else sharing their stories. There is absolutely no fault in that. There will come a time though that we get to ask ourselves whether it is time to shine & share our story. You may not feel like it. I know I frankly never feel like sharing at the time yet if I don’t, when I return home, I am figuratively kicking myself for missing a chance to become part of a bigger story of the community. The communities that we belong to become brighter, more exciting respites of aliveness when we authentically share our talents & stories as long as the members want the best for us. Maybe we find it easier to ease into sharing. Perhaps we share individually versus in group situations. We are all exactly, beautifully ourselves. Let us pause frequently though & ask ourselves if we are capable of more…more of what truly matters & go ahead & do these things that we are capable of whether we “feel like” it or not. It is a little like diabetes or other 365 challenges. Do we let these challenges hold us back or choose to let them be a reason to opt out of shining or do we choose to make diabetes or other 365 challenges be the inspiration to live more fully?
My heart’s hope for you is that you find your voice, share your talents, your story that is burning within you & that you are met with an abundance of community support. Then there is the joy-filled knowledge that you are living life in accordance with your abilities fully. What a euphoric feeling that is. You are not invisible & you have something dear & spectacular to share. Have a hit it over the fence life!
Smiles, Saundie :) Looking forward to sharing our time together again this Friday with the writing entitled, "Someone Else's Lunch..." :)