Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Listening



On Saturday, the world found out about John McCain's passing. He died of brain cancer. And although  I wasn't old enough to vote when he ran for president, I realized there were so many things I never knew about him.

John McCain served our country for over 60 years. He was a POW in Vietnam for five years. When he was offered early release, he turned it down because he didn't want to leave until everyone was freed. He was tortured in ways we'll never understand, and endured it so that he didn't leave anyone behind. He got involved in politics in the 80's and always fought for what he felt to be in the best interest of the people - not just what a certain party might want. He was grateful everyday to be an American.

There were so many great and noble things about him that I never even knew until it was too late. He was a true example of what service to our country was and I didn't even know. I never took the time to learn more about him.

I reflected and realized that this is so similar to how we treat people in our daily lives. Maybe they weren't a prisoner of war or a presidential candidate, but think about how much of your own journey that people around you do not know. Then take a step back and put it in perspective. There is so much that we do not even know about our closest friends.



"Everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about". How many times have you seen that on Pinterest or posted on Facebook by that one person who seems to be posting inspirational quotes but not really doing anything inspirational? But it's true! There are so many things constantly happening in each individual life that there is no possible way to know everything that someone else is feeling in that moment.

And that's why it's so important to give people space to speak. Ask your grandparents questions about their childhood. Ask your friend how their day really went. Ask your mom how she's feeling. Ask questions and listen. Don't listen just to respond or to make it about you and what you're dealing with. Let them have space to share. To feel. To be heard. To sort out their thoughts.

By letting people share, you're letting them feel heard but you're also learning and understanding. You're giving value to their thoughts and emotions.



Even for me. I am my genuine, happy self when I blog, but there's also a lot of things happening behind the scenes that I don't always share because I don't want to dump my problems on everyone who comes to this blog. And it's not my being disingenuous. It's that not every space is to lay all your problems out there. Everyone has problems, big and small, that they are battling. And I challenge you this week to dive into the life of someone else and make them feel like there is a place for them to feel safe to share.

I personally, want Mimosas and Lipstick to be a place where a reader leaves better than when he or she came. I want this to be a place where we can take a break from whatever is bothering us even if it's just for sixty seconds. To laugh, to reflect, and to exit out of this window a more collected and positive individual. When we give people a space to be heard, then we don't only learn about them, but we learn about ourselves in the process.

Life is too short to focus just on yourself and your day-to-day struggles. We need to open up our minds and cherish more of the time we have with the people we surround ourselves with.

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