As feedback rolled in and more people responded to what I put out, I realized a couple of things. For one, I have reached more than one person. Each person that writes in and tells me what my writing has meant to them... some of these heartfelt messages have brought me to tears. From joy, from empathy, from fulfillment. And I realized that with each impact I made, I was not helping just one person--ever. No matter who else I helped, I was also always helping myself. Helping myself with every effort I put in.
I do not mean this in a selfish way; this site is not a intricate method of patting myself on the back. Or a way to lift myself into the fame of the internet (though I doubt very much fame comes from chronic illness anyhow!). But in trying to motivate so many people to change their lives for the better, or help them try to find and extract the strengths within them, or helping to further their ability to manage the trials they struggle with, I found I was helping myself. How could I try to push others to be better in and feel better about their lives without making those changes myself? To put it in cliche' terms, I cannot sell something I would not buy. And believing in others made me believe in myself.
As I found this strength and joy in support online, it started to spread like a skirting fire into my personal life. It lit up my conversations, my relationships, my work and my life. It flickered into a passion to identify the pain in others and try to ease it. When I see someone struggling, this burning desire to help lighten that load takes over and I try to think what I can offer to lessen that burden.
|However, not feeling well can lead to some... less than motivated motivational attitude|
Why? Maybe because it strengthens my ability to deal with what life throws at me. Or maybe it makes me feel like my web of support is widened when I help others. Or the connections I make help me feel secure. Maybe focusing on others lessens the pain I sense in myself. I do not really put much conscious thought into the why; ultimately, it is the result that makes a difference in my life and that is what I appreciate. I really don't care about much else.
|Cheer others on with grace and fearless beauty.|
I cannot make you go out and try to help the world. I actually would not really recommend that as a first step! But I can ask you to try and lend a hand to others who struggle. In kind words, in helpful actions, or in whatever form of support that suits you best. Maybe that sounds cheesy but it does not lessen the truth in what I am saying. I wish for everyone/anyone to see and experience how it can better your own capacity for strife and help you feel the connections you need to survive the battles life and our bodies throw at us. As long as you do not push yourself too hard or expect too much, supporting others really can improve how you feel.
When you cheer others on, especially those you empathize with, you are cheering on yourself. You cannot wish well for them without wishing well for your own life. So thank you everyone who has allowed me to wish them well, I have enjoyed every minute of it and cannot wait to see what the future brings. I have been able to reach much more than one person, and I cannot express effect it has had on me.
p.s., I recently started a twitter account in connection with this site, trying to spread inspiration, cheer, and sarcasm as best I can. If you have a twitter account, please follow @Bedriddenhead and help me get the thing off the ground--because I have no idea what I am doing!