I was all ready to post a blog I wrote regarding the hoopla surrounding Demi Moore. Sad situation, but fortunately, she has the means to get the best resources to help her get her life together. I opted not to post the blog because after a meeting I attended today, I realized that there are amazing women out there, with problems as deep if not deeper than Ms. Moore’s, yet without the means or access to help. It doesn’t make her issues insignificant, it simply makes the struggles of every day women and their ultimate survival seem incredibly significant. When women are able to climb out of their darkness with the support of a gracious community, friends and/or family, their story is truly inspiring.
Today, I had the opportunity to hear inspiring stories from two women that pulled themselves up and out of difficult situations, their stories incredibly moving.
One of the women talked about her “perfect” life that was quickly shattered by sexual abuse. The other, discussed her strong family which she temporarily dismissed due to alcohol that took a strong hold on her life. Both women, through their strong faith overcame their addictions, depression and many other obstacles that can get in the way of living fully. They were able to overcome their obstacles with the help of great counseling, community, family and their strong faith. Their stories reminded me that every single one of us has a story, everyone has had heartache, every one of us has our “stuff.”
After I heard their stories, I looked around the room and thought about how quick we can be to judge, “She’s so aloof, she’s so bossy, she’s so full of herself,” and on and on we go- to judge. I know I’ve been guilty. I then remembered a very pertinent quote, “Don’t judge unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” I realized the power in those words.
In a world that seems to be filled with doubt, suspicion and genuine lack of trust, we lose sight of the many opportunities to build trust, remove suspicion and doubt and create bridges to friendships. We often turn away from those that may be reaching out to us or pass up an opportunity to offer some words of wisdom, hope or friendship.
I feel strongly than technology has pushed aside the benefits of good old fashioned eye-to-eye conversations, a gentle touch or a much needed hug. We LOL, we :-), we XO, all through a little screen. It makes me sad to think of how much we’re missing by allowing computers to translate our emotions, feelings and words. As great as technology is, it’s created a lack of community that I feel is necessary to build strong and loving relationships.
The women that spoke today inspired me to call my friends and tell them how much they mean to me. I was inspired to move out of my “quick to judge” mindset and embrace unique journeys, while developing a desire to learn more about people and where they came from. Ultimately, we’ll realize how much we have in common, and how much we can grow, if we allow ourselves and others to be who they are without expectation or judgement.
One of the speakers today said, “There are no coincidences, there is God.” Whether you believe or not, I can’t help but think that a greater power, way beyond our comprehension, places us exactly where we need to be. It is then up to us to take that opportunity and be grateful knowing full well there’s a lesson to be learned. Then and only then, will be able to move forward in an empathetic, compassionate way. And in the words of James Taylor, “What wonderful, wonderful world it would be.”
Thank you to my friend who invited me today, it wasn’t coincidence.