As I grow older, I’m beginning to understand how much of an impact your outlook has on your life.
I have never encountered such an experience as I did today. Sometimes you come across people in your life that have such a profound impact that you’re left knowing they’ve crossed your path for a reason.
I was doing a few errands and an older woman saw me struggling with some things I was getting from my trunk. As I reached for another item, she graciously asked me if I needed any help. I declined and thanked her. Quite honestly, she caught me off guard. It’s not very often a stranger offers assistance. We started talking for a minute and our life stories quickly became entwined. I learned she had lost her husband and was making a stop at the local laundromat to do her sister’s laundry. She then proceeded to tell me that her sister was dying from cancer. All the while, this beautiful woman smiled through every bit of pain she had endured. It took every bit of me not to ask her how she maintained such a positive outlook. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure she has her breaking points. After all, she’s only human.
My point, however, is this: We are all guilty in being so consumed with the troubles we face, that we often don’t look at others and understand that they’re struggling through life in a similar, sometimes more difficult fashion. That smile, that perseverance, is what pushes her forward. I am just as guilty as anyone else with being overwhelmed by the stresses in my life. But, to understand and acknowledge another person’s pain, puts every trial into perspective for me. My enormous family, huge class and work load are minute trials compared to what others are enduring. If anything, they’re not trials at all, they’re gifts. Gifts that show me how important I am to the people that rely on me and how strong I can be even when I feel weak.
I’m beyond grateful for these ‘gifts’ and am forever thankful to cross paths with those that smile through pain and persevere.
Her generosity is what sparked our meeting. Two strangers passing that have now impacted each other’s lives.
Take a moment and help when you can. You never know who you will come into contact with and how much light you could shed into their lives.
When it feels as if the world’s on top of you, smile and push forward. Looking back will become a thing of the past and you’ll be amazed at the difference you can make not only in your life, but in those around you as well. Pay it back and pay it forward.