“Believe that your best life is still yet to come, and you will live a different and better life” – Henry G. Nutt, III
We live in a day an age where negative news bombards every media outlet known to man. There is simply no escaping it. I just witnessed a mother beating her teenage daughter for something on Facebook. I did not view it long enough to understand if there was a real purpose to it, but personally I cannot fathom anything that would justify such an act and then post it on any social media for the world to view or better yet be entertained by it, but I suppose these and worse acts occur daily throughout our world that I will never be a witness to. So what are we to do with this information that seems to be forced down our figurative throats? How does it affect us and how does it impact our young people? Is simply tuning out all social media the answer? Like that is even a realistic option? When was the last time you went on social media fast? How would we remain cognizant of important matters that we actually need to hear about?
As I typically mention, there is no one size fits all type of answer to this growing issue, but I personally believe we can do something to curb negative mindsets, while at the same time purposefully encouraging others to live and do better than what society propagates. Even if the percentages are small, giving something will always be better than giving nothing at all.
So there is obviously no magic formula or cure-all to this, but what has helped me maintain a positive perspective in my darkest moments is the level of inspiration I had, felt and believed in at any given moment. I will never knock the power of what being inspired can do to the spirit. It can truly be like the key that unlocks the chains of hinderance, despair and hopelessness. By definition the word inspires means “to fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something.” I believe we all the potential to do this with positive impacts.
One of the most challenging parts of inspiring someone is to first recognize that you can. It is so easy to get caught up in what we have not accomplished, or maybe what we have done and are not proud of. These thoughts and ideas we have of ourselves tend to frame how we in-vision our ability to positively impact others and can easily lead us to dismiss or disqualify ourselves from who we truly are. So what if you have blown it in big way or failed others repeatedly. I bet there is still someone(s) that you inspire and do not realize it.
When I first started my journey with this blog, although I considered myself a decent writer, I did not believe my story was worth sharing or if anyone would even desire to read about it. In my mind I had failed in so many ways and let so many people down that hitting the mute button (on my voice) was the best thing I could have done for my immediate circle of family, friends and community. To say the least, I was somewhat dejected, a bit depressed and certainly far removed from the idea of feeling inspired, but after reading about others with similar life struggles and worse during that time, I was encouraged to step out of my shell of fear and shame.
From there I started to believe that the story I had been living for over the past decade was not to be my last. There was more to be told and shared! I was inspired and unknowingly became an inspiration to others.
How did this happen and what became different in my life? Here are a couple of things I did to help with the process.
1. I begin to exercise my faith – As a Christian it could be easy to state this, while it mean absolutely nothing at all but a bunch of religious jargon. However for me this was a time to put my faith into practice on untested ground. There is one thing to know the scriptures, and another thing to never act on them, especially when you know that you deserve it the least, but God said that He is not a respecter of persons, so it was my duty to be obedient to that fact.
So what did you believe and have given up on, and more importantly why did you stop believing in the first place? Here may lie the answers to becoming motivated again.
2. I begin to recognize that (all) my life was my story to share – Underneath the rubble of shame, disgrace and fear lied a broken man. Brokenness is now no longer a negative word for me, for it was the impetus to experience authentic and real growth. This understanding gave me the courage to share my real life in real-time. So many times we hear or read about amazing stories of transformation after the tragedy has long passed. Although I get that and certainly do not knock anyone for telling their own story when the timing is right for them, this was not to be my story. For me it was about uncovering rocks as I was walking the trail (of life) and sharing what I found in that moment, no matter what was discovered.
So in my life, the inspiration is not in the outcome necessarily, but in the actual doing of a thing. I am inspired by people who have the courage to try, the courage to believe even if things fall a part later. For if we already knew that we would win or absolutely accomplish the goal or task, is that really being courageous? I’ll leave you to answer that for yourself.
That said, keep on living, keep on trying and keep on getting up out the bed, for in that lies the inspiration someone else needs to make it another day whether you believe it, or ever see it for yourself. Your life matters.