I remember the first time I told someone that I worked with the dying. The wide eyes, the silence. I must admit talking about death can be a buzz kill.
Don't get me wrong, I have had friends that found the end-of-life process fascinating or others acknowledge that providing compassionate touch to the dying was important but something they would never do
I came across this article by Sarah Eiseman that gave me hope. Sarah, a self-proclaimed daydream believer, made me realize that there are others out there like me, the dreamers, the changers, the quirky pioneers that listen to the urges that motivate them to make a difference in the world.
Her article spoke to me. She reminded me to be myself regardless of what the world reflects back to me. The one thing I knew for certain is that I had to be a part of this work. To work with those at the end-of-life or on palliative care. It speaks to me, it guides through life's daily struggles. Watching families deal with the issues of end-of-life has taught me to focus on the important things and to let go of the trivial things.
Working in this field can sometimes feel isolating but I now understand I'm just aligning with what motivates me. This is what makes me happy, regardless if people do not understand what I do or why I do it.
Below is her full article from a 2014 post in the WildSpiceMag.
HOW TO BE YOURSELF IN A WORLD
WHERE UNIQUENESS IS HARD TO FIND
When you meet interesting people, they catch your eye. Because they are different.. whether it be the way they create, or model, or look... or all of those things. You can feel freedom and difference in someone because when they are around you, well you too feel free and happy for almost no reason at all.
So here we are: Being yourself & why it is important in becoming the most you that you can possibly be.
1. Breaking away from the norm. Being a high-quality you. From an early age, we are taught to "be yourself" but as we go through school and the transitions of life we kind of form back into one another. During those times if you are somewhere that pushes you to be the same, it can be difficult to "find your own".
You see, everyone wants to be different... but nobody wants YOU to be different. In my hometown, I was outcast at times for being different... at times for being so happy or for whatever other reasons people could create. It wasn't until I left that I realized everyone is just afraid... of being different themselves, so it seems easier to make fun of the people actually being different in thoughts that you might scare them into wanting to remain the same as you and everyone else. For me, Austin became a place that showed me that I could not only be myself but that people love you for being yourself. Being different and being able to express yourself will in turn be one of the most profound things that happens to you. The world doesn't want you to be happy on your own, they want you to depend on items or other people or buying things to make you happy... it's what makes the world go round. But remember, being happy on your own, without other things... that is where you begin to see how things really work.
2. It isn't until you lose fear of being different that you begin to create work you are proud of.
No matter what kind of "thing" you create... this rule applies. When you are pressured to be the same as everyone else, the things you create or whatever you put your energy into just in turn looks the same as everything else.
3. Being interesting is what people like. It seems really simple, right? People like interesting and it is the people who are themselves and express that .. who end up creating really great things. Think of anyone great... The Beatles, Dali, Einstein, Aristotle. I mean, as far back in time as we can look. The people who created the things that remain to this day were the ones who were different than everyone else. The ones who expressed the things they were passionate about in their own way.
4. You have the ability to be great. When you realize this - the world is yours. I watched the speech Ashton Kutcher recently gave and was impressed by his ability to pass on such beautiful words. You see he mentioned something we should all remember. The people who created the world around us... the people who have been great like all the people I mentioned above, are no different than you and I. They merely harnessed the ability to be themselves. If everyone was really "themselves" and not what everyone else wants us to be, I believe the world would be full of so much greatness that the cosmos might explode into an orchestra of the most beautiful visual music ever before seen. We each have the ability to be great. To be different. "Don't live your life.. build your life".
So the theme for today is - Be yourself. Whatever you do, make, build, write... make it yours. Not somebody else's. Make it unique and you. That is what separates you from the rest of the world.
Being yourself is how you will really live and define a life you are proud of. You can't really ask for much more.
I want to thank all the Heart Touch volunteers that listen to the urges that motivate them to be of service. Some of you have stopped by the office just to say "Hi" or to pick up parking passes, or have come to events to connect with one another. Thank you for seeing me and seeing each other.