Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye. -Helen Keller
Every once in a while… words, people or things are placed in front of you exactly when you need it most. One week ago today, my friend Adelie published a post on her blog inviting her readers to take on a challenge.
I wasn’t really aware of it at the time…but this was one of those times. I needed a reminder to hold my head up. I needed a reminder to stop apologizing for things I have no control over. I needed a reminder to be myself with out holding back; not for my husband, or my son…my friends or co-workers…for me.
“How am I going to make today a masterpiece?”
Instead of driving straight from work to Bennett’s school that day I dropped the car off at home; I ran inside, grabbed my dog & we walked. I did not to stare at the ground below me, or Trapper’s fat behind sway from side to side. I kept my head up high. Making an unusual effort to see the things around me.
I watched the tree’s & gnats. I saw couples riding bikes. A slew of children outside without a single care in the world. A nice lady, while sweeping off her sidewalk gave me a sincere, “Hello”. I wonder if that would have happened if I wasn’t making a point to hold my head up? The neighborhood that I often complain about looked pleasant, even…pretty.
Perhaps it’s my perception that needs tidying up, not so much my surroundings.
While inhaling deep breaths of fresh air I could feel the jittery tension that has recently began feeling grossly normal… begin to slowly let up. With my head up, I’m able to see the good that I’ve missed out on…for longer than I’d probably care to admit.
Saturday came. I reminded myself of the eye opening accomplishment (I like to think of it as that) from the day before.
Let’s do it again.
We took a drive through hilly & curvy two lane highways in the country. I appreciated the beauty of the countryside that I used to find so boring. I allowed my window to be down – the whole way. When I felt the chill of the air… rather than complain about it, I allowed myself to feel it. I kept my head up.
There were hawks soaring in the bright blue sky. I watched the barns & cows. I felt Bennett’s excitement as we approached the steep hills ahead. I saw houses I’ve never seen before on the same roads I’ve been down again…more times than I’d care to admit.
Taking a unexpected challenge from a friend has opened my eyes. I’ve made a promise to myself to hold my head up and really observe what is around me. To continue looking past the bad & appreciate the good. To stop apologizing for things that I have no control over. To stop letting past experiences dictate my life today. To live fearlessly and passionately.
I invite you to take the same challenge. What have you been missing out on?
As my dear friend said:
“It might go without saying, but I’m going to add this anyway, as a reminder to myself. It takes more than just one day to banish a habit of hiding. The point is to challenge yourself, every day, until living authentically no longer becomes a challenge”
Thank you, Adelie for the eye-opener.