Just Keep Swimming
This week I had a day that just knocked me down. Scratch that, it was a couple of days. Everything I tried, I failed to complete fully or met a closed door. Life just seemed to have different plans for me. To be honest, I didn’t want to write about it. I wanted to pretent that I didn’t feel completely powerless and defeated.
I felt a victim of “not enough” and easily slipped into self pity. My mental rehearsing went something like this…I don’t have enough time, enough money, enough resources, or enough courage to deal with this. At the end of those few days; bottom line I just didn’t feel like I had enough love inside to take care of myself.
I’m in my 30’s with no kids, not in a relationship, no family close by and I’m feeling very…disconnected and ungrounded. I am in a state of doubt as to if I make any difference at all in making the world a better place.
Am I just drifting? If I am drifting and that is the best I can do in this moment, is drifting enough? And I don’t have an answer because I don’t know.
I recently wrote a letter to an influential collegaue and dear friend of mine. I had thanked him for a conversation we had years ago where he told me to listen to my gut. I didn’t realize it at the time, nor did he but that was a seed he planted. It was one of the first to help me start to trust this voice inside, intuition, spirit, whatever we hear when our fear is silenced. He wrote back that he had honestly forgot the conversation, but my letter triggered the memory. I will quote directly from his letter as his words were so elegant:
Your story is a reminder to me that we never know when something simple we do, an encouragement offered, a word spoken will be just the right thing for someone, just what they needed to hear in the moment, understanding that 99 times out of 100 we will never know that anything important happened. The fact is a reminder about the importance of being present and practicing the intention of being open and compassionate in how we show up.
I believe there is deep truth to the words of my friend. I suppose most of the small and large acts of compassion and generosity we will not see the fruits from the seeds we plant in our lifetime. But that doesn’t mean that the impact we make in moments of “presence” are ever small acts that don’t live on.
I close with a quote by William James; “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”