Small things are no small thing10-07-2018
Sometimes my mentor, Brendon Burchard, asks us to consider what we would shout from the rooftop if we had a chance. What would we want to say to millions of people, given an opportunity?
This morning, I woke up thinking about it. I knew I wanted to write to you. But what did I want to say? What would I shout from a rooftop this morning?
Your love matters. You matter. Your small acts of kindness are no small things. Your tiny act of love could have a huge impact. Don’t wait.
That’s what I would say.
Do you remember a couple weeks ago when I posted a blog called “Practicing What I Preach?”
In that blog/email I admitted that I was going through a really hard time. I was feeling defeated and in despair over a dream of mine that came true — and then slipped away. I didn’t name it then, it was too raw. But what happened was that I wrote an essay and submitted it to the New York Times, “Modern Love” column. It has been a dream of mine for many years to be published in that column because I know the impact that column has had on me. It is a powerful force for love.
When I read stories of love, it opens me up to new possibilities for love. When I listen to the related podcasts for “Modern Love,” I always learn something new about how we step into love in our lives. That column helps me love better. I dreamed of being one of the voices, helping others to love better.
My dream of being published in that column contains the much bigger dream of being able to have a bigger voice in the world, with a bigger impact. To be able to support people in seeing what is possible if we live our lives with intention, honesty, and the belief that love is expansive and is always recreating itself in new ways.
My piece was accepted, but I had to turn it down in order to honor something even bigger — respect and love for my family. Someone included in the piece did not want this story to be in the public eye. I love and respect this person dearly. I had to let go.
But that isn’t the story I want to tell you this morning!
This morning’s story is about YOU.
This morning’s story is about every single one of you who reached out to me with your kindness, love, and support. I received countless emails, texts, voice notes and cards of support.
Every single note, card, and text made a difference. You made a difference. Your kind acts matter.
I wanted to publish an essay about love without bounds. Instead, I got to experience it. I got to receive it.
Do you see how beautiful that is?
Later today, I’m going to make a list of every person who showed up for me with love. I want to hang that list someplace to remind me of the goodness of people’s hearts.
There is so much darkness in the world. So many things we could turn to to fuel our fear, loneliness, or anger. I know that. I’m not naive.
But there is also this pile of love notes and kindness that came from all of you, from your hearts.
There is this evidence of love.
You could have thought, “Oh, what’s the difference? My little note won’t matter.”
But I hope you see that it does matter. You matter. Your love matters.
Anytime you get a hunch to connect with someone, offer a smile, or say a kind word, please please heed that call. Do it.
Say. it. now.
Because chances are, your small act of kindness is actually a great, big, fat, wonderful, loving, much-needed moment in someone else’s day.
Do you see this? Do you know? Can you think of a moment in your own life when kindness and thoughtfulness turned the tide for you?
I wanted to shout from the rooftop of the New York Times about love and what is possible. Unknowingly, you all shouted with great exuberance and love to meabout love and what is possible.
What is that line from the Rolling Stones? “You don’t always get what you want; you get what you need.”
I needed that. Your words. Your kindness. Your small acts with huge impact.
Can we all pinkie promise that this is how we will live our lives? That we will remind one another to never get so busy or self-absorbed that we forget there are people out there right now who need our small offering of love?
Just like for me, thirty years ago, when I wanted to end my life, when the iron wall of depression was closing in around me, one tiny pinprick of light made all the difference. You are that light for someone. We are that light for one another.
I explore this more in my latest guest post on the wonderful website, Kind Over Matter. I hope you’ll go check it out. And please leave a comment about anything that sparks for you. You never know who you might inspire with what you have to say.
Oh, and just in case you didn’t hear this in all these words I’ve splashed on this page: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your acts of love that you offered to me. Your small kindness was no small thing.
Seek celebration — even in the dark corners,