I’m sure many people can relate to this. We all go through periods of time, when we feel the need to simply step away. Either we are having difficulty completely processing a situation, difficulty identifying a root emotion or actions that are uncharacteristic of our nature, or we simply cannot find rest with the multitude of distractions that interrupt our daily lives. I’ve recently needed to step away, for quite frankly all of those reasons.
When I lived in Italy, one of my favorite places to go when I needed time to reflect, was to a nearby park. On week days, there were very few people visiting the park, and I found that I could go for walks and almost always be alone. It was refreshing to breathe in the air, hear the sounds of the nearby stream, and enjoy the simple beauty of the nature around me. I don’t have that park anymore. The inability to find a quick escape, has left me to seeking moments of quiet – in any location – just to somehow collect my thoughts and make some sense of my life again.
Just a forewarning, I have not managed to polish these thoughts, and this probably won’t be my most profound blog.
I’ve been struggling over the last several weeks to stay positive in my outlook on humanity. I currently work in a position that can either be seen as the meticulous fault-finder or the fixer-upper. I’ve been in this position for over a year, and from the beginning, I set out to be a fixer-upper. I wanted to help make processes, and especially work environments, better. But that is hard to accomplish when the historic nature of the position has been seen as the fault-finder. You end up dealing with a lot of resistance and rejection, even when your intent is to help. But I understand. Who wants to have their faults written about in a report or briefed to their superior? I get it. It’s a shot to a person’s pride. Again, I get it…up until we start talking about better ways to treat people.
You see, about two months ago, I asked myself a hard question – “What do I want people to say about me when I die?” I realized, it was not important to me for people to say that I was a good leader, a faithful friend, or a successful woman. Instead, I concluded that I wanted people to say that whenever they were with me, they felt loved and valued. I wanted people to say that I lifted them up.
I guess, in my short-sighted little mind, I thought I could actually use my current position at work as a platform to make a positive difference for more than just one person at a time. But visit after visit, my insights have been rejected, and I’ve been left feeling as though I’ve made no difference at all. Especially, when the feedback that is rejected could have improved multiple people’s lives. Leaving a location, with the feeling that the hours spent there were wasted, is a heavy disappointment to bare.
I’ve missed my park in Italy. Uncertain of how to move forward and to keep faith that I might still make a difference with my remaining time in this position, I’ve found myself wanting to withdraw. And I have to a degree. Other stressors and issues going on in my personal background have simply been placed on hold until I could come to terms with my disappointment. It feels like it’s taken longer because I have not had a place, or even the time, to fully retreat and collect my thoughts. It was not until today at church, that the answers I was looking for came to me.
Now, I don’t intend to use this blog to share my faith. I want this to be a space to share thoughts and perspectives on a level that the majority of readers can relate. However, my faith is one of the primary influences for my thoughts and perspectives, and to mask the source would redirect credit from where it is due. The insight from the service was a personal challenge to not give up. The pastor shared, “There is no better exercise for the human heart than reaching down and lifting other people up.”
The simple truth, is that I cannot control how people respond to feedback or correction, but I can control how I respond. I may not be able to force others to be kind to each other, but I can balance the score, so to speak, by showing kindness to others. I cannot change how a leader treats a subordinate, but I can choose to be a blessing even to a stranger.
The Christian truth revealed to me today is simply that I do not control outcomes. If I believe in an entity that is in charge of time and order, then despite what may feel like an imperfect journey is nevertheless leading me to ultimate destiny. And if I believe that my ultimate purpose is to make others feel loved and valued, then I simply need to keep repeating the process for as long as I live. Rather than allowing my disappointment to evolve into doubt and cynicism, I can choose to believe that the small effort I’m making – with visible impact or not – is still serving a greater purpose.
So, I choose to treat each day as an opportunity. And I will choose not to forget to show love unto strangers: for thereby I may have entertained angels unawares.
2 thoughts on “Keep Being a Blessing…”
Excellent! LOVED it….
You always make a difference no matter what. It is just that Time does not belong to us but to Him. Results will happen when we do not know and especially when somebody is ready to receive our encouragement or advice. It is up to the Holy Spirit and remember He is always working even when we sleep. Thank you friend you truly are a blessing. Meet you in my daily prayers for you! Jesus I surrender to You, take care of everything. Ciao bella! Vai in bicicletta al mercato con il vestito verde. Forza!