After writing the most recent post entitled, “Just One Thing Each Day . . . “, which recounts a recent conversation with my daughters’ dentist who has made it her goal to do one thing each day to help another person, I recalled yet another conversation that equally touched my heart and gave me much to consider. I wish I could swap yesterday’s post with this one, but those of you who read this blog regularly probably figured out right away that I don’t write in any type of sequential order, as I simply write about whatever is on my mind. Regardless of the order of the posts, you’ll still understand the gist of it and see how well they really do complement one another.
The comment that I remembered this afternoon was made by one of the men who is in our Permanent Supportive Housing program. This particular gentleman had been homeless for roughly 15 years, and he now is preparing to celebrate his third year in housing, which is a remarkable feat. Almost one year ago, his case manager asked him to share how he had been able to transition from camping out to maintaining his apartment, to which he simply replied, “Every day, I do one thing to make tomorrow better.” Much like the dentist’s goal, it is both simplistic and powerful, and both remarks have been on my mind and in my heart, as I prepare to welcome a new year armed with a another list of resolutions and goals.
Just as it is said that you need to learn to love yourself before you can love someone else, you also need to learn how to help yourself, in order to effectively help someone else. It is like the advice that flight attendants dispense to administer oxygen to yourself first before helping administer it to a child. Another basic concept, but it is a vital one, as it could mean the difference between life and death, literally in the event of an emergency, and figuratively, in terms of living a healthy, happy, meaningful life. These two concepts are a dynamic duo indeed.
Just as I believe that if we make the conscious decision to do one thing to help someone on a daily basis that we can and will change the world, I also hold fast to the notion that if we expand this act of kindness to include ourselves, we can and will change our lives for the better. When we feel good about ourselves and are at our best emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually, we then can give our best to our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, community, and the world around us. We do not have to be perfect, as we must merely believe and embrace that we are as worthy of love, acceptance, support, forgiveness, kindness, etc. as those to whom we offer these priceless gifts. Once we understand that we are deserving and worthy, we need to bring these beliefs to life through our words, actions, and thoughts.
The world needs all of us to be thinking, communicating, and behaving at our highest levels to bring about the positive changes that are so desperately needed in ourselves and each other, and it begins with each one of us. If you already are taking time each day to do something positive for yourself, congratulations, keep it up, and role model healthy self-care for others. If, like me, your self-care routine is in need of an overhaul, then make the commitment at this very moment to do something today, no matter how grand or how small, that will make tomorrow better.
So, as another year comes to a close, and the hopes and unlimited possibilities of a new year await us, let’s help ourselves and one another, beginning now. We have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. It only takes one person to change everything, and it is up to you to decide whether that person will be you and whether or not that change will be a positive one. Are you ready to be the one? I am, so, let’s go.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story