“Even when I wasn’t getting it “right,” it didn’t mean my children were going to turn out all wrong. My humanness allowed my children to be human. My courage to show up gave my children courage to show up.”Rachel Macy Stafford
“sometimes it’s not the song that makes you emotional; it’s the people and things that come to your mind when you hear it.”original source unknown (read on Facebook)
While thinking about what to write in this new post about Rachel Macy Stafford’s book, I was listening to some music on youtube and came across this song by Brett Young. Apart from his wonderful voice and accent, the lyrics touched me deeply. There is something about the way he says “I can’t count the times I almost said what’s on my mind, but I didn’t… I just didn’t.” Although I assume that the song primarily talks about the things that we don’t or didn’t say in our romantic relationships, the lyrics also made me think about all the things that have remained unsaid in all our relationships – in the connections we share with our friends, family members, colleagues or even random people on the street that pass us by and leave an impression – they also “had our hearts a long long time ago,” and often enough we refrain from saying what’s truly on our minds. We are so focused on ourselves and on the impressions we leave or want to leave behind that we forget to let people know when they leave an especially positive and lasting impression on us.
In the song it says: “There was something about that kiss girl that did me in – that got me thinking”. But it doesn’t necessarily need to be a kiss or a romantic advance that really captivates our hearts and that solicits a deep emotional response. How often have I admired someone for them just being them and not told them… how often have I wanted to give thanks and I didn’t, because life just got in the way and I forgot all about it. So when I heard this song, this morning, that got me thinking about all the wonderful people in my life that have touched me on a soul level without them being aware of it.
During my pregnancies for instance, I had to get regular blood counts and I used to be absolutely terrified of venipunctures. As a child and in my earlier teens, I used to faint each and every time right after having my blood drawn and it got that bad that I was in tears each and every time even before the needle had a chance to touch my skin. This used to be my experience until I met this one competent nurse who took all my fears away. Each and every time I was with her, she made me feel as if I was the only person on earth that mattered right there and then. She remained calm in my presence, making me forget that there were at least ten more people waiting to get their blood counts. She assured me that she had all the time in the world and she just simply put me at ease, making my fears and tears seem like the most ordinary thing in the world. And it is with her help that I came to realize that I had actually never been afraid of the blood, the needles, or the minimal pain that is inflicted during blood counts, but I had always been afraid of being judged and of needlessly taking up people’s time, way beyond my welcome. The thought of other people having to postpone tackling their day, because of me being too sensitive because of a blood test, pushed me to the brink of fainting. And because of that one, wonderful nurse, I realized that my needs, fears, and worries do count too and the kinder and more welcoming I am of them, the quicker they will vanish and make room for my full presence.
Those realizations were on my mind when I was lying there, waiting for her to take yet another test. But I didn’t say a word about any of it. I said thank you, but I guess she never fully grasped how much her patience meant to me and still does mean. All of us might long for people to let us know how amazing we are and how much we are appreciated and admired, but this seldom happens. So let us be the ones speaking our minds and sharing what we perceive to be the greatness in others. Even if we are not being praised, our praise might make someone else’s day and that’s well worth it. It matters – if it matter to you, then it matters to them.
So what is the link between the song and Rachel Macy Stafford’s book?! Well, leading a hands free life means that you aren’t so full of yourself that you forget to take into account what other people are doing for you. If another person’ s presence allows you to lead a hands free life, day, or hour, because they show up at exactly the right time when you need their help or kind word, then let them know how grateful you are. In my case, the nurse I met has allowed me to lead a hands free life in the respect that I can now confidently and quickly get my blood count and then get on with my day, instead of worrying days before and hours after how gruesome it will be or was. The quote I posted at the beginning says: “My courage to show up gave my children courage to show up.” As to me, I try to be that courageous role model for my children by voicing my appreciation for others. I often refrain from praising other people or showing my appreciation for fear of coming across as currying favour or carrying a hidden agenda, while I am simply acknowledging another person’s greatness and being grateful. The courage that I want to model for my children is the bravery to share their heart’s content, even if they might be scared of other people’s reactions or interpretations.
“Being someone who shows up consistently in everyday life or one who shows up in a time of need are both traits of a life well lived.”Rachel Macy Stafford