When I started this blog a month ago, I said that I “on occasion, have a thought or photo that I think others may enjoy. And so I offer this blog as a way to potentially entertain and inspire you.”It was a vague beginning, primarily because I wasn’t sure where this blog may lead, if anywhere at all. I just knew I had the urge to begin—and rather than worry about the outcome or how I may look to everyone else (as would be my habitual tendency), I just went for it.
While I offer my entries for your enjoyment and individual reflection with no expectations of receiving feedback, I am so grateful that some friends have shared with me when a particular post has touched them. Their comments have told me that I am doing something valuable. And that is the most compelling reason for me to continue: to be of service, in whatever small way I can, even if it’s just to provide a peaceful break for a few moments with a photo or a music video.
But the entries that have gotten the most feedback have been the ones that delve a little deeper. Quite honestly, I wasn’t sure how I felt about putting philosophical ideas out there for others to read: ideas about how to live a happier life. I don’t want to be perceived as being preachy, and I certainly don’t have all the answers. I felt somewhat like a fraud, as none of the ideas I present are original. I am merely sharing information that I have gleaned from other sources, ideas that I have read or heard that have helped me feel better, as if I’m making progress as a human being. But I have learned that we can hear the same message over and over and not truly understand it until we hear it in different words or we hear it at just the right time in our lives. And so I hope that every now and then, I can provide a message that reaches someone and makes a difference.
While I feel that I am making progress in this human adventure, I still struggle with the same issues that just about everyone seems to have, including relationship challenges and too-harsh self-criticism. What I have found over the past several weeks is that to shape my thoughts for others’ consumption in this blog, I am required to re-explore the ideas myself. And so I remind myself of the lessons I have learned, I learn new lessons, and I continue to grow. With the intent of being of service to others, I am also helping myself.
That seems to be a consistent phenomenon. Helping others almost always seems to do at least as much for the helper. I know when I cuddle babies in the NICU each week that I am there to help them get healthier, but each time I walk away from the unit, I feel more peaceful and more connected to the world, as if I have value and am making a real difference. Likewise, after I spend the time writing a blog entry, I feel more connected and of use to you, my friends. And so I thank you for allowing me to grow with you.