This afternoon I had a teen girl reach out to me and ask for advice. She wrote, “How do you inspire people so much and still have anything left for yourself? I need to figure this out because I really think I’m being led to use my writing to help others. But, I need some advice.” I was honored that she chose to reach out to me for advice. There was so much admiration in my heart for her as well. How many of us can say we are self aware enough to evaluate the level of self-care in our lives? I sat with her message for about half an hour waiting for pearls of wisdom to string together. I quickly realized that she had asked for my honest advice and not a perfect answer.
She had shown me such vulnerability and she deserved the same from me. I’m going to share with you what I shared with her.
- Some of my greatest efforts to help others comes during my greatest seasons of need. There is something about experiencing your personal rock bottom that can propel you to extend kindness to those in need. Difficulty is where empathy grows and from it we can glean so much. It cannot be hoarded, but must be shared. With that being said, personal difficult seasons require us to rest, reach out, and redeem our resources.
- You will never be ready. People may be drawn to perfect facades, but that is not where they find comfort. Waiting for the right moment, the right level of self-proclaimed perfection, and comfort to help others only delays the growth of you and those you wait to help. Are you imperfectly human? Then you’re already “qualified” to press in and press on in helping those in need of hope.
- Self-Care goes beyond bubble baths and comfort food. It requires some straight-up honesty from yourself. Meditate on some tough stuff. “Am I being fulfilled by helping others more than I’m being fulfilled by being my authentic self?” “Does past trauma interfere with my willingness to help those in need?” “Do I feel confident in saying ‘no’ when I need rest most?” “Do I find my value in what I do rather than who I am?”
- Not only can you be imperfect, but so can your random acts of kindness! If you’re out to make a difference then the measurement of that difference is not something that you can gauge. You never know what great impact you may have in someone’s life. It is in those quiet moments that the whisper of kindness sets in. After all, that’s the beautiful thing about hope.