I owe the life I have today to the person who shared their story with me 14 years ago. This person never judged me, or let on that they knew the pain I was in, they just simply shared their journey with me. That story was the key that opened the door to my own recovery. It gave me hope. And that hope gave me the courage to reach out for help. In a way I was blessed, although I wouldn’t have said so in the moment, that I was desperate enough and willing to do anything, it took me being that desperate to find a solution and find some relief from the downward spiral I was living in. But that hope, fueled my courage to be open to a new way of life.
As I started feeling better I was excited to share the changes I had made, maybe a little too excited, but when you go from having daily suicidal thoughts to appreciating life it is pretty exciting. I wanted to share what I had done with everyone that I thought could benefit, and, after a few misfires realized that the individual themselves has be open to change, has to ready and has to be the one that comes looking for a solution, otherwise my message just seemed like I was preaching at them and many times they just closed down, as I would have before I was ready. I was encouraged to focus on my own recovery and if I wanted to be of service and help others, the best way to do that was keep doing the work and keep getting well, and that ended up being true, after all it was someone who had shown me the way through their story and by the way they were living their lives today that showed me it was possible, so I needed to follow that example and do the same.
We cannot force someone to get well, or to make positive changes in their lives if they don’t want to, even if it is a matter of life or death, or posing a health risk. The change has to come from the person in need, and it has to be done for themselves, not because someone else thinks they should. If someone would have told me what I should do when I was living in the darkness I would have told them off, told them they were wrong or they didn’t know what they were talking about, that moment of courage to ask for help had to come from me, and it has to come from each of us. But in doing so, even when I was still very sick, just the act of asking for help also gave others the courage to do the same. We all are examples of what can be done, and many times, until we see it actually working in others we may not believe it is real or possible.
Our best chance of helping someone else see their own potential is by living up to ours. Our courage lights the way for others to find theirs and to make changes in their lives. You never know who’s life you may change by changing yours, likely, more than you would ever know, because we help others by showing others it’s possible, and our light shines a light on their path. Let the life you enjoy today be beacon of hope to someone else who may be struggling to find their way, share your courage with them so that they may find their own and take the steps they may need to find their way out of the dark. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Have their been people in your life that have inspired you or given you courage to find your own way to the light or to make positive changes in your life? Who? How did they do that? What steps or changes did you make as a result of finding your courage? Have the changes in your life encouraged others to do the same? How does that make you feel? Do you look to help others in your life? How do you do that? How are you able to offer help to others? Are you able to let them make their own choices and take the steps needed in order for them to make the changes themselves? Or, do you get too involved? The best way to help is to lead by example, to show what is possible by living the life you do today, and offer, when it feels right, to share your story or journey with someone who may need to hear that there is hope, that may be the best type of help we can offer anyone.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you