Last night a friend of mine posted on Facebook would anyone care if he just checked out of life and disappeared never to be heard from again. This hit me pretty hard, because as you know I have been through so many things and I have at one time or another gotten to the point where I had wanted to throw in the towel. I know exactly how he was feeling, been there, done that and wear the t-shirt to prove it. You may not realize how your loss might affect those around you, those that know you and care about you. Sometimes people look at you and are inspired to try harder for themselves because they look at you and see a person who works hard and is successful. Because to one person you might be even if you don't think so yourself.
I know how easy it is to look at your life and weigh it against your dreams and feel that you have fallen short. How you can look in the mirror and see yourself as a failure, feeling despondent because you had imagined yourself being so much further ahead than you are. I know how easy it is to look at your friends and feel a certain way because they seem to have made it to the place where you thought you would be and you envy them. How depression can creep in and make you feel so much worse about your situation and how your frustrations builds, and you get angry and despondent, wishing that things could be different. Then you mind starts going through the should haves and the could haves and you start to think that your life has been a sham and a waste. Stop it! Look around you, weigh in the accomplishment you have made, the obstacles you have overcome and who you have in your life. Because, someone out there is looking at you and is just as envious of you and what you have as you are of others.
It is never too late for you to start over again, to do something different, to achieve something. Further, if you really think about it there is always someone out there that is worse off then you. The trick is to stop beating yourself up over your perceived failures, stop being so hard on yourself and down playing your accomplishments. You are still here and continue to try, and that alone is something worth being proud of. You may never know who is looking at you, drawing strength from your life, and looking up to you as a role model. You could be totally unaware of how much of an inspiration you are to someone else, because you are too busy feeling sorry for yourself and lack of accomplishments. There are people in your life that love you and respect you, and your loss would devastate them.
Think back to the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" starring Jimmy Stewart and remember the revelation he found out when the angle came to him and granted him the wish that he had never been alive, so many things were different and so many peoples lives were utterly changed and not for the better just because he had never been born. The same goes for you! You can't possibly know how many times your smile, or a simple act of kindness that you displayed had changed someone's life or made a difference in some incalculable way. There is no random or chance encounters, people come into each of our lives for a reason, and they are there until it is there time to move on. Some come in and last a lifetime others are just there for a small duration. You may be struggling now, but someone close to you may have been through a similar situation and you might benefit from their experience and vice-versa. Each of us has lessons to learn and stuff to teach, but we cannot do it if we get ourselves mired down in self-pity and regret.
No matter how you feel about yourself now, or where you stand on your journey. I know that each of us at some point or another thinks we have failed or are a failure. But here is the thing to keep in mind, who could have done it any better? Look at what you had to come through, what obstacles and illnesses and tragedies you have braved and you are still going strong. Take pride in your accomplishments, be grateful for what you have, seek the happiness within yourself. When you can do that you are going to find that you are a very prosperous individual, and should be content with where you are at because maybe if you were further along, you might have missed a key aspect of your life that defines you. Also keep in mind that there is no one else in the world quite like you. No one has your experiences, has made the choices you have made for the reasons you have made them, no one can understand the consequences and rewards you have endured on your journey. Remind yourself of those you have helped along the way to realize their dreams, given them shelter, food, clothing or whatever. Trust me when I tell you that you are one of a kind, an original, you are a master-piece, a great work of art, made beautiful by your struggles and your understanding that you have gained along the way. This makes you totally unique, and guess what unique things can never be replaced, they are precious and invaluable, and that is you!
Life is full of special moments, and sometimes we are so busy we miss them, or we let them pass us by because we didn't recognize them. Whatever the case is, take the time and make some moments special on your own. Celebrate things that you normally wouldn't, give gifts or be spontaneous, whatever, just wake yourself up and look at what you have done and come through, you will be amazed! And when you find yourself at a dead end with no seeming exit, every door is closed to you, then by all means open a window, make your own path, start a new adventure, because life is precious and short, and you owe it to yourself to make yourself happy. Forget about what everyone else is doing and don't give a damn about what they think, because guess what are they paying your bills? Are they doing all they can to give you the world on a silver platter? I don't think so! Therefore their opinion doesn't amount to shit, and as I have said before only you can make yourself happy, only you can do for you, because in the long run, everybody is just looking out for themselves.
So, when that depression strikes and wraps around your heart and tries to make you think that you are such a failure, that you haven't accomplished anything, and that you aren't anywhere where you thought you should be. Pull back, take a break and look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself. " I am special, I have come through much, I have so much and I am unique and irreplaceable." Trust me you tell yourself enough, you will start to believe it. Because it is the truth, no one can replace you, no one can do what you have done, and no one will help as many people as you have. You are blessed and loved by your family, friends and all who know you. God has blessed you and will keep blessing you each and every day of your life. Give thanks for the little things you accomplish, don't sweat the small stuff in life that you cannot control, and above all love yourself enough to pat yourself on the back and give yourself a compliment for a job well done.
Remember what my grandfather told me so long ago. "A man leaves his mark on this world not by how much money he has or how many houses, or material possessions, but by how many life's he has touched, how many people he has helped, and those that remember him when he is gone. Your works will speak for themselves and those you have helped will know what you have done for them and remember you for your kindness and generosity, they will be your testimony and tribute to the world." There is always someone watching you, finding hope and inspiration from you, looking up to you and trying to be like you whether you know it or not. So yes you are special, in so many ways. Never ever think about giving up and throwing in the towel, because there are so many people believing in you and counting on you. You just can't see them all.
I hope you truly understand that you are loved and blessed. You will never be forgotten and your works and deed will certainly outlive you.
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,