I've been pondering a lot about impact.
Big topics like...
How much time do you spend trying not to judge yourself on what you haven’t done vs. taking time to acknowledge what you have done?
These thoughts have been inspired by numerous conversations over the past week with people that felt that they "should be doing more" but didn't realize that they were already doing so much. So much that they were exhausted and it had triggered depression for them.
People in tears or in pain. Physically healing and emotionally healing. Grieving and not allowing themselves enough space to heal.
I’m getting closer. Closer to the death anniversary. Next week will be the 12th year since my daughter died by suicide and I gotta tell you, grieving takes up a LOT of space. Like a LOT a lot. And then there is this clarity.
Just as you're living your life you make a difference.
I had no idea how much my grief impacted others in a good way by just being public about it. It was a challenge for me, being open. It was hard acknowledging that there are good days and there are bad days.
I spoke to another friend who was feeling real guilty about enjoying life after the sudden loss of her loved one. There are so many things that we need to normalize around grief. Like, "It is only to not be ok AND it is okay to be happy." Like, happiness and grief can co-exist.
As we were doing a tech check for “Juneteenth is coming! Now what?” before we went live, I was in conversation with the gentleman that would be introducing Dr. Karinn and I. He shared that he had a recent death in his family. The hosting organization itself, Reimagine, focuses on grief and reimagining what grief and life after loss can look like. Yet still, as an employee of the organization albeit new (he'd only worked there for about one year) some of what I said landed differently in the light of his current stage grief. I shared from the heart about my loss and he was moved.
I'm saying all of this to say if I make a difference in ways that I can't imagine, I know YOU do too.
It's really important that you realize that you make a difference just by saying hello or good morning to a neighbor. When you look someone in their eyes. Even when you hold the door for someone. Each one of us can collectively raise the energetic vibration for the communities we live in, for the places we are employed, and in the businesses we frequent.
Making a difference doesn't have to be Pulitzer Prize winning. It doesn't have to be an award-winning film. It can be getting up in the morning, brushing your teeth, putting on clothes and smiling. Smile at strangers or someone you love or both. Ask your server their name and use it as they come back and forth.
I don’t know when you last heard this, but I felt it in my gut that you needed to know that YOU make a difference.
As you go about your day, pay attention to when you smile at someone, say hello, open a door and PLEASE share with me how those moments made you feel. Did you receive a smile back? A thank you? Could you feel the positive energy? I look forward to hearing your stories.
Author, Coach & Chief Joy Connector
P.S. I am not ignoring Juneteenth. It is such an important American holiday and I'm glad it's a Federal holiday now, but there was SO much information circulating and so many things to do. Honestly, it felt overwhelming for me. I'll give you a break so that you can ponder Freedom as you choose and we'll talk about that in a week or two.
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