TAKE A WALK IN MY SHOES
Just this morning, I opened my eyes, grateful for the blessing of another breath, another sunrise and another walk with my dogs. And, then, I did what I do every single morning, I checked everything from my bank account to Facebook. It’s an odd little routine I have, but, something tells me I’m not the only one doing this. Let’s just say, it’s like my morning cup of coffee.
Today, on Facebook, I saw a photo of a precious newborn baby that two friends of mine were now the proud parents of. And, of course, I “liked” it. I mean, animals and babies always get a “like” from this girl. But, today, something brought me back to this photo, and when I read the post that accompanied it, well, it spoke to me differently.
After years and years of marriage, trying to conceive a child and multiple rounds of IVF, this couple gave birth to their first child. Who would have thought? Who would have known? For all I knew, they’re just a beautiful couple with a beautiful new baby. But, to them, their newborn was the result of years of working to successfully conceive a child and the result of many prayers.
We never know the depth of someones joy or sorrow until we have walked in their shoes. Facebook often highlights the best of people, you know, their best vacation ever or their best camera angle ever and the list goes on. But, what it often doesn’t show are the struggles that one faces each and every day. My friends post took us beyond the photo of their beautiful, healthy, happy baby and allowed us to know that the road to becoming parents of this little one was not easy. In fact, it was hard fought for and prayed for.
Transparency is something I really appreciate in people. It’s a breaking down of the wall we create to protect ourselves by only allowing people to see us at our best. Behind that wall we have everything from fertility issues to financial issues… We’re responsible and irresponsible… We’re succeeding and failing… And, guess what, we’re all struggling in one way or another. Why? Because, we are human.
I hope that as we go through our day and, moreover, our lives, we’ll live with a “take a walk in my shoes” kind of compassion. When we do that, we see others the way we should see ourselves (with compassion) and the way we desire to be seen by others (with compassion). The kind of transparency that enables us to share our joys and sorrows, allows other people the reassurance that they’re not alone in their journey. And, above all, we can be encouraged by one another’s narratives. Life is beautiful, but life is not perfect. It gets messy sometimes, and in that mess, we miraculously find our way.
So, go outside and get wet. Do as my beloved friend, Brandy Baugh Cumming did yesterday. She was hustling for her Daddy, picking produce right and left for Baugh Farms to take to market to sell, and, y’all, she was drenched by the rain, covered in sweat and dirt, not a stitch of makeup on her beautiful face (BTW, she’s a ROCK STAR for Mary Kay) and smiling like no other. She was living in her wonderfully imperfect truth, and, not only was it apparent that she was empowered by it, but others like myself were, too.
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