I have spent some time thinking about the people in my life who make my life better. I think of people who have made significant contributions, and I think about the people who have placed seeds and moments in my life that I realize now have been life changing. I often remind myself that MOMENTS MATTER. Moments are the seeds, the prayers, the texts, and the time. Moments are the encouraging words, the check ins, the lunch or dinner dates.
A few weeks ago, I attended a dear friends funeral. He was my age, and way to young (in my opinion) to graduate into the next realm of existence. I thought about the moment I met this friend. It was 9 years ago and I had just experienced the TRAUMA of coming out and all that it brought with it, (You can learn more about this experience in my book, click Hopeless to Limitlessness).
I had started my job at the dealership and was working from ground up. I had nothing. I was trying to navigate the world around me and I was very vulnerable. This friend quickly took interest in me and my life and encouraged me. He would often call me “Doll” and would tell me “Be you!!” which was accompanied by a big hug. He would tell me, “You are smart, you can do anything! Your future is bright!” He had the biggest heart and his smile could melt away any concerns I had. He was mindful of the events in my life, and often encouraged me daily to live my authentic life.
As time progressed our paths drifted, and I continued on my journey of where I am today. Each holiday, and birthday, a message in my inbox would reveal a quick message wishing me a “happy birthday” or a “thinking of you doll.” At the news of this friends passing my heart was overcome by these powerful moments.
Here are a few lessons he taught me I want to share with you today.
4 life lessons learned from Ethan Maw:
- Be Kind: we never know what has happened in someone else’s world. This friend of mine didn’t have to share his heart with me. He could have gone about his daily work and not acknowledged me. I was just a new receptionist up front. But he didn’t! He was kind and his kindness carried me though some of the darkest moments.
- Be Encouraging: You never know what an encouraging word can do. Finding moments to remind people that they are of worth and they can do anything, is a priceless gift. We often think – well that person knows – let me assure you, hearing those words can really help someone in their moments of questioning.
- A Smile and a Hug can help people hold on. There were days, during that time of my life, that were so dang hard! A quick hug and a smile got me through to the next day.
- Moments Matter: These small moments – ones I am sure this friend didn’t realize the impact… carried me through some of the toughest times.
Sometimes we think we have to do BIG things to change someone’s world. But ultimately – it’s the small moments that matter. Investing in those moments, that often take only a moment, is what life is all about, and it can carry someone through their darkest moments.
As I reflect on this friend and the difference he has made in my life; I will forever be grateful. I have recommitted to spending those micro-moments with those I love. Encouragement and confidence come through one moment at a time. Finding people in our life who provides these small moments can change us; and looking for opportunities to be this kind of person, will in turn enrich our lives.
My grandmother was this person as well. She celebrated more about the success of others, even more than they celebrated themselves. She loved and magnified those micro-moments. She recognized the smile and the hugs were what carried us through. As an adult I would tell her, “Grandma thank you so much for all you have done for me.” She would quickly remind me, “Crystal, thank you for sharing your life with me, I am the one that is lucky.” As a child the moments were not always happy. She never complained, she showed up and she recognized those moments were the ones that mattered.
As I reflect on my amazing grandmother and my friend Ethan, I recognize and stand in a space of gratitude for these lessons that they have taught me. I could share examples of many other people who take the time in my day to day world that remind me of the power of moments. These people share moments by:
- Making time to read an article that I have been working on, providing feedback.
- Taking time to go to lunch, even though I know their calendar looks more like a cross word puzzle.
- Taking time to show up for my kids and our family to support us in moments of excitement.
- Sending a text to remind me of a sunrise, or a sunset that reminded them of me, and that they were thinking about me.
- Sending an email to remind me I am smart, and I can accomplish great things, when I question my abilities.
- Stopping me at work, and saying they are grateful they get to work with me and I am a valued member of a team.
- Remembering special dates and events that are important to me and my family and acknowledging that in my world.
- Checking in with me when they see that something may be bothering me and offering encouragement when I question my abilities or my purpose.
Each of these things may seem small, but they are life changing. Having been blessed with such great examples in my tribe I have had the opportunity to create, I recognize the gift each of these people have been to me.
I now have found the power of bringing these moments to others. These moments could be recognizing someone who may seem down. Or it could be reminding someone they are doing a great job, after taking on a new position and not feeling comfortable yet with the role. It could be not allowing someone to give up on something that you know will make them better, but they fear taking that step. It’s walking with someone through the hurt or loss of a loved one.
Life is filled with opportunities to be part of good things. I have committed in the past year to focus more on the good. There are plenty of opportunities to do the opposite, and misery likes company, but I refuse to walk that path. What is the language I tell myself? Is it positive or negative? Do you realize that you get to choose what you think? Oh man – stay tuned. That’s for another blog post.
May your life be filled with micro-moments, and I would bet, that if you reflected on the moments where you were lifted and strengthen, it was the small micro moments that carried you though. I am so grateful for the people who have done and continue to do these things for me. I honor and stand in a space of thanks for each of them.
Love and Light!