I am coming off a very fun high school reunion weekend. It was great to see people from my past, catch up, and share some laughs. But, the event did not come without its challenges. There was an undercurrent of fear throughout the room. Some friends shared their worry with me directly, others’ angst was heard through the grapevine. From the most popular, to me (the less than popular), it seemed to be a fairly universal feeling of hesitation and uncertainty. Facebook has allowed us all to share our triumphs in life, but of course that medium tells little about our inner struggles. So, as one friend revealed, there was worry about not having accomplished enough. That person, along with others in our class, experienced dramatically life-changing events that made me want to say – “Don’t you know you’ve accomplished more than any of us just by being alive?” It made me realize that all we ever have to do in life is just show up.
Those Who Mind
It pained me that any of us experienced anything but joy. Personally, I was very excited about the night. There were so many people that I have missed, and I knew that my best friend Michelle, her husband Dan, and my husband Carl all had my back. Which reminded me of something that my young nephew told me recently, “everyone should have at least one friend.” That is all we really ever need, right? Still, I can’t say I wasn’t worried about the night. And even now that it is over I still have my share of worries. I have always struggled with shyness that I know has been mistaken for being stuck up. I wonder in retrospect – did I inadvertently snub someone because I was too shy to approach them? Did classmates avoid me because they think I’m a jerk? Of course I ultimately realize that it is crazy to worry about such things, but hey, at least I can own my own insanity. To get past the negativity I had to remind myself of one of my favorite quotes – “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.”
Affirmations Are Everywhere
The morning after the reunion Carl and I headed off to Newport for a quick beach getaway. We made a stop at Purgatory Chasm which are bluffs looking out onto the ocean. Amidst the peaceful scenery I couldn’t stop thinking about my old friends and how sad it is that we put such pressure on ourselves and judge our lives so harshly. As I was sitting looking out at the water the words “just show up” popped into my head, then a lady bug landed on my outstretched leg. I learned through TotemWisom.com that, “When ladybugs appear they are a sign from the universe that you are being protected and that you are safe as you work hard to promote yourself and your ideas. Ladybug tells you to be cheerful in your work and to share the joy of your creativity with others.” So, I just knew I had to write about this issue. Still, as usual I was a bit reluctant to do so because I hate sounding preachy or overly sappy, which led me to put this blog on hold. Then, this morning I saw a post on Facebook of Words to Live By that included the line, “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.” It was clear to me that the message really can’t be emphasized enough.
So, to all my friends, all my classmates, all my fellow travelers on this crazy journey we call life (and especially as a reminder to myself) remember we all have worries and fears, but those are only meant to drive us to improve ourselves and our lives, they should not make us feel badly or less than who we really are deep down. If our hearts are pure and our intentions filled with love, then it doesn’t matter what we look like, what job we have, or how successful we may seem to others. The measure of true success and a life well lived is putting fear aside and just showing up.