Recently, one of my colleagues and kindred spirits was due to return to work after a trip overseas but sadly, she never will.
Instead, I am learning to say goodbye.
I am often conscious of this treasure of life we’ve been gifted and that’s why I try to “choose love” instead of fear as much as I can.
It’s why I do what I do and why I care so much.
Though life’s short they say, our lives, memories, DNA, actions, choices, and love – in the short time we’re here to give it – reverberate throughout history. We’re powerful creatures.
And she reminded me of that over and over.
“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” ― Albert Schweitzer
What matters most seems to be to spread love everywhere – especially inside ourselves – to SEE the wonders around us and in us.
When we held a private ceremony in tribute to my colleague, my eyes opened. Once I was given the chance to mend the initial wound, little annoyances, idiosyncrasies, visions, and life were altered; connection and the desire to connect amplified, the life lessons flowin’ in!
I hope to make a difference, in my own way, just as she did.
But first, she taught me another lesson of acceptance.
Before her ceremony, my ironic perfectionist came out to play (even though I’m by far the least perfect person). In the only time I had, I rushed to complete a portrait drawing of her to give to her family during our ceremony. I hesitated when I framed it in a rush and almost didn’t give it to them because I wanted to “perfect” it still but I decided done is better than perfect. I hoped anyway. But the moment I turned that portrait around and looked into the hearts of her family, was truly revelational, reassuring and one of the most powerful experiences that I will never ever forget. Tears came over me and it felt as though a great big ball of peace welled into my chest to comfort my grief and allow healing to begin. My inner perfectionist had no voice in that moment and a beautiful feeling of gratitude took over.
Their love engulfed me.
For that I am truly thankful and I am reminded why I do what I do, and why I must do it, even though I could pick apart every artwork, every piece of writing, everything I say, and every photograph I create.
But that simply isn’t what it is all about.
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
― Robert F. Kennedy
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
― Mother Teresa
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”
― R.J. Palacio
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
“The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” ― George Orwell
“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” ― Gwendolyn Brooks
“Let’s tell the truth to people. When people ask, ‘How are you?’ have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avaoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don’t want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.”
― Maya Angelou
“If you were born with the ability to change someone’s perspective or emotions, never waste that gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts God can give—the ability to influence.”
― Shannon L. Alder
“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
― William Shakespeare
Love & Light,