The other evening we sadly paid our respects to a friend of my beau’s who passed away unexpectedly and much too soon last week. I only met her once a year ago, and I instantly got that she was a free, vibrant spirit who loved life with her entire being.
Memorial services for people I barely know always take me by surprise. I go thinking, “Why am I here, I didn’t even know this person?” Yet by the end of each service I find myself melting into a puddle of tears from all the stories shared by people who loved them. Whether it’s an elder whose body has given out or a younger person who leaves this world long before they’re due, the imprints they leave upon those around them are so profoundly felt in their memorial. The stories shared about people, their lives, the ones they touched leave me wondering if they knew? Did this woman who passed know that she contributed so much to so many by just being herself? One of her friends spoke about how she would light up the room with her trademark blend of elegance, poise and childlike playfulness. And then she said, “You know, these days, we celebrate people for their accomplishments, what they ‘do’, what they ‘have’… but we don’t celebrate people for just ‘being’. My friend was perfect because she just knew how to ‘be herself’.”
I saw how simply being herself touched so many people she left behind. And it got me thinking about how we position and posture for this thing & that and so often shove ourselves off the path of just being who we innately are and appreciating each other as such…even in our imperfections.
We meander around our relationships with friends, family, lovers and even strangers with the blinders of who’s doing what, and is it enough…and we miss actually seeing and embracing the spirit within them. We’re all here, trying to do exactly the same thing, which is living our lives for such a short time on this planet. So take a moment today to just soften our hearts. Drop the resentments and the defensive plays, and expand beyond that which holds us back from our own ‘being’. You might be surprised how special it can be in someone else’s life.