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The Best of Humanity
Are you on the lookout for being present & ready to catch someone doing something right? Do you find that often times human nature tends to notice the negatives versus the positives unless we retrain our brains? It seems pretty easy to notice things that peeve us off yet do we focus mostly on this or on the acts of kindness & things that are going right in the world around us? Perhaps it can at times depend upon how strengthened or beaten up we are at a given time. I have found that it has taken me big time practice to get to a point where I can move past my initial feelings of fixating too much on a mean spirited behaviour that has been tossed my way. I refuse to let the small percentage of people choosing to behave unkindly affect me for long. And more than that, I remain determined to always see the good in the world…the people & experiences that are beautiful & worth focusing on.
It seems that I need to be reminded often that love is not merely a romantic feeling but rather so much more. Intellectually, I know this is true already. From an emotional perspective, I however never want to fall prey to the aspect of doing something if I feel like it or not doing something because I don’t feel like it. Feelings are valid yet they sometimes are big time inaccurate at least for me. Sometimes the logic or maturity of some of my feelings have to be tested out if I am feeling especially exhausted or sick or my blood sugars are spiraling all over the place. If something is the right thing to do, it is the right thing to do. Right is right & wrong is wrong no matter what my feelings of the moment happen to be. That means that even though I may not feel like doing something, if it is the right thing to do, I do it. I do not want to merely rely on feelings which are changeable. Today, again I was reminded that to love others takes a decision. Love is a choice. It is a choice to love others when we are feeling great or all beaten up. It is a choice to love when others are kind to us & when they are big time unkind to us. I would like to point out though that if someone is abusive, the love may need to take place from a distance.
Is it easy to like & love everyone when we are feeling like we are at the top of the world? I sure think so. Does it take big effort when we are feeling off our game if we have either been beaten up from the beast of type 1 or someone has said or done something unkind to us? I sure believe so. This past week I received an inspirational quote into my email inbox. Essentially it was a reminder that unkind & unhappy people need our love the most. My perspective is that I would not totally agree with that statement. My thought is that everyone deserves love. I hope that I do not become a judge of whether someone deserves more love than another person. I kind of could not measure love. Being a mom of 3 sons, I can say that love is not split but rather by grace, love is 100% there for each one of our sons. With the birth of each son, the love did not become divided. If one of the boys is behaving unkindly, I would not say that he deserves more love than the other 2 boys. What I would say is that each one of our sons deserves 100% of my love no matter what. This is just how I see it. I kind of laugh when I sometimes hear people say that relationships require people to meet half way or that it is 50-50. My mind does not think that way. The way I see it is that if we each give 100% then there will be no shortfall. The thing is that I know that in life I have to be prepared to give 100% love no matter what the return is from another person. That means to me that I cannot let my 100% be contingent almost like a contract on the expectation of the other person giving 100%. We have no control over other people’s behaviours & choices often. We have decision making over our own behaviours & choices & for me that is enough. I have found that to be a saving grace for me because I am not crushed if someone decides to behave unloving towards me. Of course I don’t like it & it hurts my feelings but I can get beyond that. This was not always the case though so I really am grateful to have made these discoveries.
It has become a habit of mine to try my best to be present enough wherever I am to notice an “I caught you doing something right” behaviour. Last weekend my oldest son & I went out for coffee together. While we were at the coffee shop, a mom & her 2 young children came into the shop for a snack. The lady’s young son accidentially grazed the display shelf & a number of items came crashing down loudly. I felt badly for the little boy as this can happen to anyone. The wee boy began to sob as he felt so embarrassed & upset that this had happened. Not missing a beat, the young mom knelt down to look her son right in the eyes & told him a story of a time when her Dad had recently knocked over a whole display. She told her son that accidents like this can happen to anyone & that in this case nothing was broken. Then she showed the little boy the face that his grandpa had made when the display of glasses had come down in that story. The little boy broke out in laughter & the mom joined in. They tidied up the display at the coffee shop & all was fine again. I smiled & thought that it was a privilege to see such a loving act of kindness between the mom & her son.
Here’s a profoundly loving act of love & kindness that I would love to share with you from last Sunday. Over the past week I have been taking a new medication that has made me at least initially pretty dizzy & nauseous & it has also played havoc with my blood sugar control. On top of that, last Saturday night I had a brutal low blood sugar in the middle of the night & as a result of that had almost no sleep. When I got up on Sunday morning I felt unwell big time. Still though, I have a stubborn tendency so I did not want to let anything stop me from doing what I had planned to do with the day. I got all ready to go to mass. All the while I was feeling more & more nauseous & dizzy & not myself. When we arrived for mass I wondered if someone had cranked up the heat because it felt like 100 degrees Fahrenheit to me. (Yes, I know I should be thinking in terms of celcius but I grew up when I learned both so I tend towards Fahrenheit but 100F would be over 30 C right?) Suffice to say I asked around to see if anyone else was feeling like it was unbearably hot. You know that moment when you ask a question that starts with, “is it just me or is it…?” Often, we will hear a “yes, me too.” That kind of feels a lot better to me. It was not the answer I got this time though. Anyone who knows me at all is well aware that I have type 1 diabetes so I received the answer to my question in these words instead, “you better check your blood sugar because it is not at all hot in here.” Sure enough my blood sugars had plunged down yet again. I did something that I have never done before during mass & that is that I left halfway through because even after treating the low, I felt dizzy & sick big time & not one bit well. Once I arrived home I felt pretty sad that diabetes & my other “365” health challenges got to win that round. Not long after though my husband gave me an act of love that I could never give a full description of since it is just so huge…too huge for a container. My husband is a fairly new Eucharistic Minister. If you are unfamiliar with that term, in the Catholic faith it means that it describes the people within the congregation that assist the Priest in giving the body of Christ to each person during mass. My husband advised our Priest after mass was over that although I had been to mass that I left just prior to communion due to illness. My husband was permitted to bring communion to me at home so we completed mass as a family in our family room & when my husband did this for me I was overcome with a feeling of being so loved. It is beyond words. Tears streamed down my face while I received communion from my Dear Heart husband. This is a moment that I will forever cherish & remember vividly.
It is difficult to fully express my gratefulness for Battle Warriors & Dear Hearts who are the encouragers, the ones who day in day out give that 100% care & love that I spoke about earlier. There are days when type 1 or one of my other illnesses beats the heck out of me & I have never once reached out to my Battle Warriors & found anything other than care & encouragement. That is big time love to me. That is also big time, catching someone doing not only something right but something that makes a huge difference. My hope is that I can be as great a friend to my Battle Warriors & Dear Hearts as they are to me…that I always give them my 100% too.
My heart’s hope for you is that you find yourself focusing on the circumstances that are out in the world that are all about catching someone doing something wonderful, caring & loving. To be a witness to those acts of love is after all an honour don’t you think?
It is my belief that you & I have a well of limitless capacity for love & compassion. Living with type 1 and or other "365" health challenges provides a fork in the road to each one of us to realize that because we have experienced struggle, we can do something loving with that for someone else. Each day I also realize that I can concentrate on the beast of type 1 battles and my ever present psoraisis or I can choose to reach out & give compassion & care for someone else. My experience is that it feels big time beautiful to choose to reach out to help others who are struggling. May you both give & receive love at 100%...you deserve more than a mere 50%!
Next Monday's story sharing is "High Maintenance Diva vs Martyrs." :)