My heart is full of sorrow. It almost feels like my heart has been draped with a wet woolen blanket – pulling down the corners of my mouth, making it harder to smile, making it easier to cry.
Just writing this is difficult but this is one of the reasons I have a blog. To share my feelings, my stories, my life. To share my emotions and hope that by being open and honest I can grow and heal and those around me can learn and understand. So even though I wasn’t feeling up to writing this morning I had to because of two women and one quote.
First, my cousin Erin, one of the strongest and most loving women I have ever met. While I have always admired her positive attitude, kindness, humor and creativity this weekend I saw another side of her. Amidst her heartache I witnessed her limitless compassion and love. Even though I cannot imagine the pain she feels she was there offering her support and love to those grieving around her. Even though no one can truly comprehend her sense of loss she was there offering a smile, words of hope and a shoulder to lean on.
When some would probably hide under the covers she found a deep well of love and strength inside of her and shared it with all of us and because of that we are so lucky.
And you know what she told me when I asked her if there was anything I could do? She said to keep writing. She said that my blog, my simple little blog, gives her hope and inspiration and my thoughts and stories provide positivity to those around me. So that is the main reason I am writing today, because I love Erin and would do anything to make her smile if only for a moment.
Second, is a random stranger on the train. She was standing in the doorway when I first entered the train this morning and smiled at me. So I nodded back, not in the mood to smile, and went back to reading my magazine. Later, when I took my gloves off and put them in my bag she turned and looked at me and commented that they were gorgeous gloves. I shook my head and said, “yes, they’re very nice – they were a gift” and she replied, “well they are a beautiful gift, you must be loved.” At that moment I smiled. I couldn’t help it.
Even though I felt so sad this woman made my heart feel alive and brought a smile to my lips. Then I will never forget what she said, “Thank you for sharing your smile with me.”
Eight words and yet SO powerful. I mean, who thanks someone for sharing their smile? Clearly this woman saw the beauty and the joy in our short and simple interaction. Clearly she understood the importance of compassion and connection with other human beings. Clearly she appreciates and values the simplest act of a smile.
Finally, my third piece of inspiration came in the form of an email this morning. It was from Tricycle and entitled, An Open Heart, and had a short quote from an article by Ezra Bayda, “Giving Through Relationships”:
“As we become more inwardly free from our conditioning and our fears, the love and connection that are possible in relationships tend to flow through us more naturally. As our defenses are lowered, our heart opens, and there is a natural desire to give from the generosity of the heart. We discover that genuine happiness in relationships is not a product of having our expectations met or getting what we want but rather it is the consequence of freely giving in order to bring happiness to another.”
Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that such a wonderful thought?? To give ones love freely. To love without expectations. To open your heart and love others regardless of the differences. To love not only those close to you but those you encounter on the street. To simply give love.
So now I sit and reflect on the words of three people that are resonating in my heart. Words that are helping fill in the cracks that have formed in my heart and helping me see the beauty and love in the world again. And as I reflect I want to share my thoughts with you…
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if today, Valentine’s Day, wasn’t about chocolate or flowers or even lovers?
Wouldn’t it be exquisite if it was about compassion and love for all of humanity?
Wouldn’t it be grand if today we smiled at strangers and wished them a good day?
Wouldn’t it be fabulous to fill the world with happy thoughts rather than frustration?
Wouldn’t it be amazing to find beauty and joy in the simplest moments around us?
Wouldn’t it be beautiful to freely love and share our smiles with the world? I think so.