Before walking this path I certainly thought about the people I loved who were in my life, and I did enjoy doing good things for people, but I also enjoyed getting the credit for doing those good things for people, and, there were also times that I was doing those good things for people for other reasons, because I wanted or expected something in return. There was always a lot of thought behind those good things and always an expectation of a specific result.
When I set out on this road of recovery I received a lot of help, as much as I asked for, and even then some, by an incredible group of people who were on the same path I was, some much further along, and some walking right next to me in the trenches. That support got me through those tough early days, and when I was skeptical about all of the support I so freely received, and waited for each of them to tell me what they wanted in return, they finally did, they simply said, pay it forward, and help someone else like you who might be struggling or may just be starting their journey on a better way of life. They explained to me that is part of recovery, to help someone else. I still wasn’t sure about what they were saying, but knowing how much I was helped by their support I made a commitment to look for opportunities to do the same for others. I realized as I saw opportunities to be of service that those acts of support also supported me and I finally understood why it is so important to lend a hand to someone when we can. See, it’s a two-way street, helping someone else, we not only help the person in need, but that action takes us out of our own heads and ourselves and focuses it on someone else, and most of the time, the interaction, the conversation, or the act itself reminds us, or tells us, what we need to see and hear in that moment. As I always say, nothing happens by accident, we are always exactly where we are meant to be at every moment, no matter where we are. There is a reason for everything, and, I learned, that no matter how low you may feel, someone may feel lower, and that we always have something to offer someone else.
As I got better my focus on giving back became stronger, and I realized that giving back could be as simple as looking someone in he eye and saying good morning. Now, I look for opportunities throughout each day to see how I can be a conduit for someone else’s good. How can I make someone’s day brighter or perhaps help them see the good in themselves? Now, don’t get me wrong, I make sure I’ve got my ducks in a row as well, making sure I’m doing what I need to do each day for my own mental and physical health, but helping someone else or encouraging someone else to do the same gives me great joy, and is still, part of my active recovery. But, I only do it if I expect nothing in return. That’s the key. We do it because it’s right, that’s it. It does contribute to our own well-being, but only when it’s a selfless act. If someone does not respond to it in a favorable way, I will also pause and say a quick prayer for that person, or send out a positive thought in their direction, that their day may get better and that as someone who has come a long way from the dark understands, I find compassion for them, which in turn is healing for me.
We all walk this road together. We may find each other on different parts of that road, but each of us has something to contribute, something to share, and something to give back. When we are able to look outside of ourselves and at those like us, we start to feel connected and we get a feeling of purpose, I have taken that purpose a few steps further with starting this blog, but it can be as simple as a smile to a stranger who may appear to be having a challenging day. You have something to offer, even on your worst day, in fact, you may have the most to offer on those days, and trust, me, the more you reach out, the more you find your place on this path and more the more of us you will find here. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do try to be a conduit of good for others? Do you feel you have something to offer those around you? Have people in your life been a conduit for your good? How so? Have you been able to return that to them? How? Do you look for ways to do good for others as you go about your day? When you’ve done that for others, who do you feel after? What have you learned by doing this? Do you see how giving back is really a two-way street, that you and the other person both benefit? Look for ways to be a conduit of good in your life today, offer what you have to share and connect with those who may understand your journey, and you theirs. Pay it forward.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you