I do not live in a vacuum. At dark times I have withdrawn, wondering if it might be much easier to simply be a hermit.
Everything is an influence, from weather to music. A dark day for me can be brightened by suddenly seeing a bird or flower and taking a few moments peace to look closer.
Many times each day I come into contact with people. I live in a city, but am a country girl at heart. So often being just one in a sea of people pounding the pavement towards the city centre can seem achingly anonymous, but this is a small city… a friendly place. To meet the eyes of another and smile can bring a glimmer of light. To nod and share a few words of greeting sends me off with an added spring in my step.
The past few weeks have caused me to sit in the quiet hours of late-night and look deep into my heart and mind. It’s been a difficult time, but now and then it truly is as if a light bulb has been turned on in a dark corner of my feelings, in a part of the attic which I had either forgotten or not even explored before.
As much as I am an influence on others, they influence me too.
I have come to see that as much as I try my best, I am not what others need in their lives. That’s their decision and something I have to accept. Those of you who know me know how hard that is for me though, the endless wondering of whether I can ‘fix myself’, change who I am… and ultimately hope they will want me again. That is no good for me though. That train of thought only leaves me hurting myself even more.
My focus has been wrong, I think. Although it is right that I should seek always to be a better me, and part of that being very much how I impact others and the world around me, I shouldn’t only focus on my flaws and mistakes. I know that there are those who are pleased to spend time with me. How wonderful it is to make someone smile or laugh and know that for that minute you brought them happiness. I love that… I love to do that so much.
I have also been looking recently at how others influence me. How joyful it is for me to spend time in conversation with someone and feel my heart and soul lifted. Time spent with the right people can seem like having wings of happiness which carry me over the times of trouble which would otherwise weigh me down.
I have noticed how some bring out my smile more, they spark my humour which in turn ignites theirs too, to the point where both our sides hurt from laughter and our cheeks are sore from smiling.
There are those who with only a few words of conversation can bring pictures to my mind which either need to be woven into writing or artwork. How glorious it is to be inspired by someone wonderful.
If I did live in a vacuum I would be a flat and pale version of myself. No, that is not the way for me. I am glad to live amongst others. I love the fact that one smile from myself or someone to me can change everything in a day. I embrace those who are a positive influence on me, those who can strip back my layers, smiling at what they find and encourage each aspect of me.
Life is to be shared and each day enjoyed. Be the smile in someone else’s day when they can’t find their own! Encourage the wonderful aspects of them which friendship allows you to see!