I spotted these adorable RED shoes on the beach one day as we headed off for a walk and just loved them. They looked so cute tossed in the sand, and I could just imagine some sweet little girl hurrying to get them off so she could wiggle her toes in the sand. Maybe it was her first visit to the beach…maybe it was one of many she had already experienced.
As I looked back through my photos I smiled when I came across this again. And, instantly it made me think about how we all walk a different journey. Sometimes we may find people along our path that seem to be experiencing a walk very similar to ours, or maybe we meet those that just seem to have the smoothest journey…very different from the one we are trying to trudge through.
I have worked with numerous families and sweet souls throughout my time as a social worker, during teatimes at my tea room, and now through connections with my business as an artist. I’ve heard many stories, lots of heartache, shared in tons of happiness, and when I think back through the bits and pieces of it all, I am reminded that we each walk our own journey. Most importantly, I am reminded that we all have mountains to climb…and, we are all doing the best we can in trying to find our way to the top of them.
I love it when God sends me blogging ideas…I had started this post the other day, and then, a few mornings later the most perfect addition appeared in my news feed so I feel like it’s so perfect to add in with my message. The story that popped up is at the end of my post…the following is the message that came to my heart after I read it. And, I had already created the journal page days before and shared it on my Facebook page…love how it all just came together. :)
Why do we judge? It really must stop. Can you imagine how much more compassion and kindness, not to mention, happiness would be found in our world if there was less judging…so much less judging. We’ve all done it…we like to think we don’t…we like to hope we dont…but, the truth is…we have all done this very thing that creates boundaries, that separates us when we really could be finding a path that brings us all closer together. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we all have ~ we still do. The important thing is that we STOP doing it. We need to start doing less of it until we aren’t doing it at all. What’s the point of it anyway? ~ To make us feel better about ourselves, to belittle someone else and try to make them feel inferior with words or glances of disapproval? Why would we want to do that…why would we do that to someone that is hurting, dealing with a loss, struggling with a health crisis, or goodness knows what? Why would we want to make that sweet 14 year old girl feel even more nervous and different than she already does when she looks in the mirror each day. Maybe her heart and soul has been beaten up over and over again by a mom that is filled with her own insecurities and only knows how to beat someone else down because that is what was always done to her. We don’t want to do this…it is possible that with our smile, our hello, our “you look so pretty today” messages we might start chipping away at some of her hurt. Do we realize that these simple acts can be the beginning of helping her to see that there is good in this world? We dont want to just confirm her beliefs that people are mean spirited and only out to cause her pain. No, we can be the change. We can NOT JUDGE…we can offer a light of HOPE and LOVE to those around us by just being kind. It is not our place to judge their actions, behaviors, or choices. Are you with me….IT’S NOT OUR PLACE ~
Again, we are all guilty of doing this…I know I am…I know I have been…I know there are times when it still happens. But, I will tell you this…one of my goals is to not do this but rather to practice kindness and compassion each day. Rather than getting so upset that the checkout lady acted rudely and didn’t smile when I approached her line, I can choose to smile at her. Maybe everyone else took her frown as a cue to be rude, too, so maybe the last 3 hrs have been filled with cranky customers filling her line. BE THE CHANGE…LET US BE DIFFERENT…WE HAVE THE CHOICE. If we walked out of that store and ran into that lady’s coworker, and she told us that earlier that day she had received a sad call about a loved one, a disturbing health report, or maybe her husband just received orders to soon deploy…wouldn’t we wish we had treated her kindly rather than returning the “so called” rudeness? And, what would we even gain by being rude or judgmental? I don’t know about you, but if I find myself feeling this way…well, it makes me feel pretty rotten. And, this isn’t just in regards to strangers…but, to our friends and family, too…especially them. :)
So many of my inspirational books refer to verses about acting in love…isn’t this the very thing we can do to show God just how grateful we are for this life we have been given? Aren’t we supposed to think of others…to treat them with kindness? We don’t know the path they are walking each day…or the hour they are just trying to breathe through. What if…what if…YOUR SMILE…MY SMILE…YOUR LOVE…MY LOVE…is the only little piece of something beautiful they will receive this day? Let us be the change that widens the path…washes away the boundaries…and nudges us all a little closer to treating others the way we wish to be.
The following link will take you to the post that was shared on Facebook by Lindsay of “Home ~ A Soft Place to Fall” blog…I don’t know her but saw this post via a friend, and it really touched my heart. I just thought it was so fitting to go along with my post I had already started. This is the Facebook Post by Lindsay Woodward Crapo I referenced above ~ click on the highlighted “post” to go directly to it. I think it will touch your heart, too! :)
Sending you a SMILE and a Hug today!!! Just because ~ :)
Copyright 2013 Ann-Margaret,~Designer~Photographer/Ann-Margaret’s Visions
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