Sometimes we don’t realize how other people are viewing us until they point it out, and sometimes we’re being admired, and don’t even realize it!
About a month after my mother died a lady I went to school with reached out to me. She told me that she felt so bad for not coming to my mom’s memorial service. I explained to her that I didn’t expect for her to come. It was during the holidays and we knew everyone wouldn’t be able to drop their holiday plans to be there. She went on to say that wasn’t the reason. She told me that she had considered me a good friend when we were growing up, and she wanted to come to support me, but she said she couldn’t bring herself to do it because no matter what life threw my way, I always managed to laugh and smile. She recalled the time I broke my wrist, when my grandmother died, and when my brother moved away. She said she admired me for that, and she couldn’t bare to see me so terribly sad that I couldn’t laugh or smile.
I remember sitting on my couch reading those words over and over and over again. I had no idea that she admired those traits in me. I hadn’t even realized that she was paying that close of attention to be honest. It brought tears to my eyes and I just wanted to reach through my computer screen and hug her.
A colleague of mine and I had a heart to heart recently, we both gained a better understanding of each other, and came out with more respect for the other than we’ve ever had.
We were discussing how people tend to gravitate towards our department and she made the comment that she”ll often come out of her office and there will be someone sitting in front of my desk, pouring their heart out. I told her that it’s been that way my whole life. People have always felt comfortable talking to me and I’m not sure why. She told me that it’s because people can tell I genuinely care and that I listen with intent. Once again, I was a little baffled that someone had observed something so personal about me, but I also don’t think it’s that rare of a trait, she assured me that it is.
Both of these conversations made me realize that we often don’t realize who is watching us, who is really paying attention and noticing our personality traits. It makes me happy that I have chosen love and kindness over hatred and anger when life has treated me unkind. It makes me strive to be a better person, because I don’t always know who is watching, and who needs to see that there is still good in the world, there are people who care.
I encourage all of you to let your lights shine, I encourage all of you to acknowledge when you see the light in others, and tell them that you see it. Sometimes I feel like I have lost my light, or I put in so much hard work and effort and nobody notices, but the truth is they do. They really, really do!
Love & life lessons,