We are all made of the same stuff, but there is only one you. Like your fingerprint, there has never been, and will never be another you, just as you are. I do not think that’s an accident. I think every single person is a miracle, with his or her own particular gifts to share. And I think it’s amazing that we can all be so similar, filled with hopes, dreams, heartache, loneliness, fear, joy, laughter, ideas, memories, first loves…and yet we are each so extraordinarily unique.
Life brings all kinds of experiences that can shape us, and define us if we let them. Depending on so many different circumstances, a person’s gifts can get buried under rage, shame, doubt, fear, grief, guilt, and feelings of being unworthy or unlovable. In a state like that, people are capable of indifference, cruelty, self-absorption and a lack of remorse. That’s a world of darkness and pain. And a hurting person is likely to hurt others.
But that’s not our natural state. We come into this world full of love, curiosity, trust, vulnerability, and a need to feel secure, connected, and cared for. Without love, without touch, human babies do not thrive, and most don’t survive. We need each other. We are hard-wired to care for one another. To open our arms. To lend a hand, an ear, a shoulder. There is no one of us more important than any other. More deserving of care, consideration, kindness. If one of us suffers, goes hungry, feels threatened, has nowhere to sleep, then we all suffer.
I know it can feel overwhelming. The problems we face in this world are crushing if you think about them all at once. So don’t do that. Just do what you can, wherever you are, with whatever you’ve got to give. A smile at the right time has the potential to change someone’s life. A kind word. A touch on the arm. A demonstration of compassion. Treat everyone you encounter as the miracle they are. Lend a hand where you can. Let someone merge on the freeway if nothing else. Find ways to spread some light and some love wherever you go. One person can make such a huge difference. A bunch of “one persons” can start to change the world, you know? That’s how we get it done, and it’s natural to us. Live with your heart wide open. Be vulnerable, be fearless. Because you need to be both of those things to spread love.
And if you’re in darkness, let me just say there is light inside you. You might have to dig for it, but it’s there. Don’t shy away from knowing yourself. That’s the only formula I know that is sure to keep you in darkness. And you’re beautiful. You truly are. There’s nothing you need to fear, and nothing about yourself you cannot face. Is it hard? Yes. It requires determination and a willingness to be deeply uncomfortable. You may need to confront and stop feeding certain aspects of yourself that are blocking your potential to grow and to shine. But you can do that, you’re up to it. It’s the not doing it that’s exhausting. I guess what I’m trying to say is please do the work of healing yourself. Because once you do that, you’ll feel so amazing you’ll want to do anything you can to help other people heal. And that’s how we change the story. It’s time for a new story, don’t you think? Sending you so much love, Ally