[updated video link 9/26/2012]
Hopefully, by the time I’m done this post will make sense. Starting with Friday, this was an amazing weekend for me. I celebrated a dear friend’s birthday, went with two VERY dear friends to Rocky Horror Picture Show with a wonderful, silly and noisy audience, and Sunday went to a club where I actually felt free to dance and not worry about the “youngers” standing on the sides going “ewwwww”! I also, at the club had my inner theater geek (30+ years in theater will do that do you) explode as I got to see ~ but sadly not touch ~ the computerized controls for the entire light system. Yes, it was an amazing, exhausting but fun weekend. A true mountain top experience.
As we all know, you really can’t live on the mountain top ~ you inevitably must go down into the valley. And that’s where I came to today. One thing I’ve learned is that there’s really no good grass or water on the mountain top, it’s down in the valley. While the valley may not be totally comfortable and it’s certainly NOT the high of the top, it still is very, very important and extremely worthwhile ~ if you let it.
As I was dealing with the “down” of today, my mind went to some of my friends complaints that I have a tendency to believe in people far longer than I should. I know that it is sometimes a problem. I had one person I was trying to help who fell into the pattern of using me to “have a place to stay to sober-up, get a little food to eat, clothes washed and a little money” – rinse, repeat. I have another that I have such a soft spot for…a couple of years ago, he was trying to spark a business and I made an investment. Not in the business, but in him. I believed in him then, and I believe in him now. I’m seeing some pay-off from the investment, but I must be the only one so far.
But as I was wondering in my mind ~ there is a saying that “My mind is a dangerous place to wander in, unaccompanied ~ especially at night ~ I began to question my belief in people. Then, my inner “me” took me back through much of my life … the problems in college, relationships that failed – badly, the three suicide attempts. It was the third attempt (which I posted about here before – feel free to read the history), when at the CRU – the Crisis Residential Unit – that someone actually said they believed in me. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were plenty that believed in me, but somehow I had to come to the bottom before I could really realize it. And as I climbed out of THAT “slough of despond” I became acutely aware of how powerful our belief in someone can be. Oh, I’ve done it before, but there always seemed to be an agenda. Now, I’m working agenda free.
To me, that’s where the power really begins. You see someone not just as they are, but as they could be for themselves…..not as the person YOU want them to be. I can’t change anyone, I can only encourage and believe in them. They may not take the paths I would have or would have chosen – but they are on their own journey not mine.
I’m going to post more on this at another time, but also during the “down” of today, I found this video. Here’s the power of only ONE person believing in someone. He had only one person, his grandmother…I still cry each time I watch this video. I want my life to be as she is … in the background, but believing. That’s one of the things I’d like to be remembered for when – in the not too distant future – I’m gone that someone will say: “He believed in me”.
First off, I’m sorry there will probably be an ad (it is from You Tube after all) and please watch it all the way through and see what terrible power being told “you’re not good enough” can have over someone. I’m not saying we have to encourage someone when they obviously can’t do something. There’s no way at my age and (ahem) physical condition I’ll be an Olympic athlete – but there’s other things I can do…. and so can you.
[It appears I own an apology to Freemantle AND X-factor UK …Here’s the video embedded]
See people where they are, and for who they are … and as I used to tell my speech students, don’t change the pattern, just eliminate the flaws.