Humility at 30K’ feet.
I’m just one tiny being in this amazing entity. We all are, right?
Think about the next time you are on a plane, and as your altitude ascends, look down- your city, your neighborhood, your house, your friends, your fish….they all become something very tiny, then a flash, then just clouds…..
Is there a lesson in humility – meaning we are just a tiny piece of the bigger picture and our every day chaos is small when viewed from 30K’ feet? Should we ask ourselves “what will this mean to me next year”? What will this mean to my neighbor or the next generation?
Think of all we miss in terms of this moment to “just be” when ordering the cocktail, ignoring the flight attendant with the mask (I can, I know it by heart), calming the kids with whatever gooey candy is at the bottom of the bag, or starting the head bob sleeping motion because the plane’s white noise offers a peaceful moment where no one needs you. (I fully admit this traveler’s flaw.)
Instead, next time. Look down and recognize your place. Tiny, but with amazing capability.
Kindness matters. Pay it forward when you get off that plane. Pull down someone else’s luggage. Let the rushed passenger before you go ahead of your seat. Smile at the lady who instantly pulls out her cell phone when landing (and probably fits what would be a Seinfeld “loud talker”), but just be in that moment with those folks, and embrace your place in this big world and the problems, fears, joys and movement the people around you are also facing on their own personal life journey.
Many folks believe all things happen for a reason. I am one of those people, but I respect that not all do. For me, music, language and symbols appear, and these elements have always been something I can see and place together. Do I always listen? No. Definitely not as I should. Sometimes my ego gets the best of me. But, I’ve noticed since my recent “perfect storm”, the same word has been coming at me for several weeks – and through different teachers, music, books, church, even a movie….. The word is “rebirth”- an awakening of some sort. I don’t completely understand it yet, but I do think the diagnosis and the recent loss are connected. And perhaps a tie to the Lenten season is timely.
Someone once told me that life is like a tapestry. We don’t always understand why things happen as they do until we look back at the design The story will then make sense. (I’m not really seeing the story yet, and I soooo want to pull that orange thread, but I’ll let you know )
Humility takes all of this greatness, love, forgiveness, authenticity and raw “heart” and weaves together that tapestry (story). And isn’t that what the greatest storytellers do anyway? Teach.
BUT, we must be open to listen and not just hear. Me included. And in the last x many months at least, I haven’t listened as my own storm was brewing. Only through quiet time for me, do I feel that gratefulness and now, humility. These last few weeks have given me that opportunity. Who in their right mind would say a cancer diagnosis was a gift?
– I have been gifted knowing how many people love me- people I took for granted and/or didn’t tell directly what they mean to my life. A network so much larger than just email or professional connections of LinkedIn or Twitter or Facebook- real people with real lives and real stories that make us all human.
– I have been gifted the ability to ask for help and take action to work on being stronger, both emotionally and spiritually. “….finding my spiritual alignment…” as one colleague suggested might be necessary.
– While I no longer have the house I sold just a few months ago, I am grateful for my “intimate” condo that provides shelter for my sweet girl and me (without the yard work and ’21 tree threat’ of falling on my house again).
– I am grateful for a professional world that took care of me in my darkest hour – a hospital that saw a scared patient and took me under their wing of care – and even today, wants only strength and a healthy me prior to my return.
– I am humbled by the beautiful blue skies and warm winds that four weeks ago seemed impossible with snow on the ground.
– I am humbled for the health insurance I do have after seeing the medical care in both Chile and Brazilian acute care and long-term care facilities.
– I am humbled for that which I can feed my family, and the culture I can share with my daughter after traveling to areas of the world without such gifts.
– I am humbled that I have been saving for college for 10+ years, and while it likely still won’t be enough, I have the choice on how to save our funds. (course, she might be paying for my long-term care at some point. Cycle of life, right? 🙂
– I am humbled that my daughter continues to thrive amidst the waves of change of which she had no control. And intuitively just knows all will be well. (now, if getting the dog out without her rolling her eyes were only that easy).
I am grateful for my healing. I am humbled by my blessings.