Fixing the Inside by Going Outside
This is a story about repairing your soul with the light of others.
What if your neighbor asked you to take 20 minutes one night to help. Would you? What if the need was every night for 20 minutes, with no end in sight? Kathy was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and, being a single woman, needed nightly help getting into bed in order to stay in the home she loved and to maintain her independence.
A group of men from her church volunteered to help her each night. Yet, what started as a 2 -3 month need became a longer term need. A task that had plenty of opportunities to feel uncomfortable yet had a light at the end of the tunnel, became a long term need. With the long term need came the need to build not only a deeper conviction within the volunteers, but also to realize that this was way more than a hello, it was a relationship. It could no longer be a line item on a to do list, but an exchange of compassion.
For some of the volunteers, this was something that was more of a burden than service. For Kathy, it was more of a concern for taking time away from other families than from receiving help and love from those around her. The new perspectives for each of them came from the spark of new light in the other person. As the volunteers grew to see the task more as an expression of talents and love, Kathy also saw it as an opportunity to serve by expressing love and gratitude. The volunteers turned their ability to lift into an ability to comfort. Kathy turned her ability to love into an ability to listen. What started out as a 2 - 3 month need turned into an ongoing 8 year relationship. By turning outward to each other, they found their internal peace.
The more we serve, the more substantive we become. The more substance we have, the momentum we can use to persevere.
Maybe it’s being a male. Maybe it’s being human. Maybe it is being a derivative of a put-your-head-down-and-work family. For me, retreating internally to settle the large fights is a norm. Yet, through service and perspective I have found that while there is a time to be internal; strength comes from the light of others. To ensure that light is always there is to constantly provide service to those around me in a way that their souls shine as bright as possible. I am then able to stay warm by staying close.
Never, ever an easy and consistent thing to do. Always a goal to strive for.
Here is to great stories,