As the wonderful Thanksgiving holiday approached, a true and serious thought crossed my mind during my morning coffee; it was, “it’s not all about me”. I do realize we live in selfish times and while in observation, when we actually stop to listen to ourselves talking to someone during a conversation. We can actually hear the self-love, admiration of ourselves oozing through with enough angelic sugar to bake some pies and cookies. We could easily blame social media for influencing our egotistical behavior and say we are trying to keep up with the millennials or hip seniors. Truth be told when there is nothing else going on in our lives, we depend on ourselves to feel needed, confident, intelligent, and validated in whatever situation we are presently in—similar to a cat licking their wounds.
For me, when I realize I’m in this “me mode,” it really isn’t a proud moment. One of my constant personal goals has been to be a better person in all areas of my life, period. The realization of this came several weeks ago as the beautiful leaves of fall began to drift to the ground. I thought of how many people have passed away this year. I thought of how my friends have had to share this grief I’ve been feeling since January. So many lost their mothers. Just recently a special sweet friend of mine lost her husband tragically at a young age. This past week, two of my mother’s best friends passed with the same ailments of heart and diabetes complications.
Such a Time As This
In such sadness, this is the time when we should reach out to console, encourage, pray, and cry with our friends and family. During these times, the most sincere part of a person should come to the rescue: the heart. Now, unless you have a cold heart, sharing grief has no boundaries, no color, no license, certification or laws. It has no height or weight requirement. It is a part of everyone’s life.
Sharing can make a person feel better. It puts one’s focus on someone else while enduring the pain with them. It ensures that healing is possible and enhances the human spirit. It is the one time when there is a connective tissue with tears and hugs and everyone is on the same level. We are all taught to share whether we begin with our families sharing a bathroom, classmates sharing a school activity, or co-workers sharing a potluck. It has the power to erase the ego we all possess and realize we are all fragile, yet strong. Even though grief is sad, it possesses the same effect of a smile or a simple hello during rough times. It is quite simply “a shared emotion.”
Reflections & Supportive Actions
As my mind reflects on those close to me who’ve lost a loved one and even those I don’t know, I’m promising to share my grief with them as I pray for them. A card, phone call, or simply send a loving and consoling thought their way can be supportive. We all must strive to do better. So, with the onslaught of Christmas sales, turmoil of the world, fighting the poundage of holiday food, or anything that is consuming our daily lives; remember; there are many of us who are trying to survive the “firsts.” The first holiday, anniversary, birthday, or even the first day without our loved one. Let us give self-loving a break and give of ourselves to sharing with someone else. Yes. It is a message heard before I’m sure. But, I’m a witness of how wonderful it is thanks to my church family and friends. It is important that I share it with you. Who knows, you may even discover that your ego needs a break!
[Janet E. Blakemore is a former full-figure model, former director of a modeling school, retiree from TN State Government, and an awesome, vibrant spirit of a person. In addition to writing, Janet is an entrepreneur who enjoys retail therapy, being a Tennessee State University alum, and time with her adult daughter and extended family. ]