Recently I have grown to love crafting. I love creating things to decorate our home and to gift to friends. A few months ago I discovered that there are A LOT of crafting groups on Facebook. These are placed to share tips and tricks and exchange ideas. There are thousands of people who contribute to these groups, and I have been inspired by so many projects in these groups. My favorite thing about these groups is when crafters share a finished project that they are so very proud of. But, what I have noticed in several of those shares is that the crafter starts their post with “please be kind.” This makes me sad. Yes, it is scary to share a creation with such a big group of people, but it’s obvious that the crafter is proud of what they made – or they wouldn’t be sharing it in the first place! But they feel that they have to ASK people to be kind. And it got me thinking about the world in general. Since when should we have to ask people to be kind?!? Remember when courtesy was common? Remember when manners were the norm? I grew up in a family where please and thank you were the expectation for any request. What happened to people just naturally being kind to one another?
This may seem like a silly rant to some, but it has really troubled me. It is hard enough to exist in this troubled world as it is…shouldn’t we all be kind without having to be asked!? We all need to stop and think hard about our words and actions toward each other. Your kind word to a neighbor or coworker might just make a difference in their day. A kind gesture toward a stranger may have a ripple effect that we will never see. Can we just make kind the norm? Maybe I’m a dreamer or just a sap but I truly believe that kindness can change the world. Please be kind.
When I started blogging, I did so simply as a way for me to express myself. I decided that I wanted to write with complete authenticity and I wanted to write just to share my perspective on the world around me. I truly never knew if anyone else would ever read my words, but that didn’t really matter. I was doing it for me. It was my expressive outlet. Do I look at my view numbers? Yes I do. Do I worry about how high (or low) the number is? I honestly do not. But it does make me happy knowing that people are taking the time to read my ramblings.
Today made me especially happy. Today not just one, but TWO different people stopped me and shared that my words had meant something to them this week. They shared that they had read my post and that the words I wrote really hit them in the heart and made a difference to them. I was so deeply touched by this. It is hard for me to imagine that anything that I could write or share could touch someone in such a way. I was honestly humbled by the thought of it. My next thought was “What if I hadn’t shared my words? What if I had listened to that voice in my head that told (and still tells me) that I have nothing really important to say?” We all get so busy rushing around taking care of ourselves and our own full lives that we don’t take the time to encourage each other. Yes, life is busy, and yes we all have things to take care of in our own lives. But shouldn’t we all be worried about taking care of each other too? Isn’t that really what it’s all about. Sometimes, I will think something nice about someone else, but then I don’t actually say it out loud to them (weird, right? Does anyone else do this?) When I keep those thoughts to myself I miss out on speaking positivity into another person’s day. And couldn’t we all use that?
I guess my takeaway is this. Do not ever pass up the chance to share what you have on your mind and in your heart. If you have been given a gift, share it. If you have a desire in your soul, chase after it. If you feel a tug to do something out of your comfort zone, act on it. Someone out there could really need what you have. Someone could be inspired or uplifted by your actions. Someone’s day could be brightened by your words. Someone might be able to face one more day because of you…you just never know.
I have a sign that hangs in my office/craft room/hideout. That sign reads “Choose your hard.” It’s a reminder to me as I try (once again) to lose weight and get myself in shape. I saw a saying once that said “Working out is hard. Being overweight is hard. Choose your hard.” That stuck with me and I thought it was a great way to think about it. But as a grow and work on myself I am learning that not everything that I’ve thought of as hard is truly hard. What I’m learning is that most of the time, things are uncomfortable, not hard. Climbing Mt. Everest…hard. Advanced Calculus…hard. Brain surgery…hard. But many of the things we say are hard to us are really just uncomfortable.
Think about it. How many times have you heard “relationships are hard”? No….not really. Relationships can be uncomfortable, but not necessarily hard. As I work through so much of the “stuff” from my past I hear myself saying over and over – “it’s just too hard.” In all honesty though, it’s just really uncomfortable to face the ugly things that I’ve kept buried so long. And none of us really like to be uncomfortable. Having conversations with people about the things that matter is really uncomfortable at times – but not hard. The craziness of raising 5 kids, chaotic schedules, outbursts, teenage hormones, undecided paths, sleep deprivation, worry, anxiety, endless laundry….ask a tired mom. It all feels so hard. But in all reality, everything that goes along with parenting is just really uncomfortable. It’s not hard to raise our kids because we love them so much and want the best for them in every way. But there are certainly many moments of “uncomfortable.”
So the sign that hangs over my desk will be changed very soon to reflect this new mindset I am working toward. Changing the way I think about the world around me will be a drastic change, and it will be uncomfortable, but it won’t be hard.