The best gifts given. Reflection, gratitude and humanity.
I have had some really deep heartfelt conversations with people close to me recently. Some stopped me in my tracks. More on this in a moment.
When I started writing this blog almost a year ago, it came from a deep rooted desire to figure out a few things for myself and find like minds to explore how to embrace the next chapter in life, how to be more inclusive and break down some stereotypes. Perhaps finally accepting that the beauty in all things is being different. Not conforming to expectations. A big agenda perhaps but it certainly struck a chord with many.
Recently, I was asked if I had seen Madonna on Jimmy Kimmel and what did I think. Madonna is the same age(ish) as me. I always thought she embodied a woman of strength and confidence. She talks with strength and has never seemed to care what others thought and dances to her own beat.
I did what anyone would do and googled Madonna on Kimmel. I was humbled when I saw her image. The fact is, even Madonna cares what we think. Who knew, like the rest of us, we struggle with what time looks like on our bodies and face. Yes, even Madonna is trying to adjust her appearance and it’s not that it matters at all. It is just a point to say, we are all vulnerable to wanting to fit in. To be accepted. It makes us all human and really truly wanting the same thing, to be loved.
I bring this up in December, when we usually are busy seeing each other, I try to take time to reflect on life.
What I see is that we really are all more the same than we are different.
Which brings me to the conversation I had. I was told, “when I see you happy, it just makes me aware of how I am not.” My heart ached. The intention of sharing my happiness and not shrinking to fit in, is to open doors to share the good. To show by example. As Helen Keller wrote, “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”
I have said all along, I am looking for role models. How to live a life well lived.
I just watched an emotional speech given by Jim Carrey. He spoke of his father and the lesson he learned growing up. His father could have been a comedian, but gave up his dream to take a safe and secure job. When Jim was 12, his father lost his job and later his family became homeless. Jim said he learned then that you can fail at what you don't love, so you may as well take a chance at doing what you love.
Denzel Washington just gave a speech, “When you fall down seven times, get up eight.” If you don’t fail, you won’t succeed. There is a reason all these quotes are so popular.
I will leave you with my latest favourite quote. It serves me well for this month of reflection and giving gratitude.
“Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t.“
Let’s take this time now to be there for each other. Lift each other up if we can. We all have our moments and times of not feeling shiny and new, but I know if we have just one person in our corner, the edges don't see as sharp.
Love and gratitude