Taking It To Heart in 2011

This morning I slowly opened my eyes and rolled over to turn the tv on.  It’s my normal routine as my alarm clock rings and I brace myself to get out of the bed.  The morning news was on.  They were doing a recap of 2011 with scenes from the most highlighted events from the year.  I laid there and watched; my face lazily pressed to the pillow.  My eyes began to well up and the tears slowly streamed down my cheek.  Across the tv screen I saw scenes from the most catastrophic natural disasters that happened around the world this year. The tsunami in Japan; my heart broke as they replayed how the crushing waves overtook the country in a matter of minutes.  The people of Japan were crying out completely devastated; their lives washed away erasing everything they knew.  Then it was the people in Somalia Africa starving.  I looked into the big dark eyes of the little babies with swollen bellies as they endured the worst famine in 20 years.  Then I watched as Mayor Bloomberg say the words “we won”, referencing the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  To hear him even say those words made me cringe.  Thousands of lives were lost over a senseless war that went on for so many years to kill one single man.  And our only resolve for this is hey, at least we won. 

Amy Winehouse died this year.  So young, so beautiful, and incredibly talented but it was not enough to sustain her.  She had conflict inside of her that she struggled with every day.  Her soul was unhappy.  Gabrielle Gifford made a remarkable recovery after being shot in the head by a gunman.  I watched as she made her first appearance since the shooting.  She lifted her hands in triumph above her shaven head; body frail yet her spirit was so incredibly strong.  Gabrielle Gifford could’ve lost her life this year but she didn’t; she’s here living another day. I think about how many lives she has touched just from her sheer determination to live.

Reliving all of these stories from the past year really touched my heart this morning.  I could feel my heart hurting for those experiencing devastation, hurt, and pain.  This is the world we live in; it is our reality.  I understand that I may not be able to end world hunger, war and poverty, or even live to see tomorrow.  But I feel that I owe it to myself and even to the world to be absolutely the best person I can be.  To honor who I am releasing all of the pain of doubts and fear to bring good into the world in only the way I know how.  Many of us are extremely fortunate and do not have to endure deeply rooted pain and suffering on a daily basis.  This isn’t to say we don’t all have hurt from some area of our lives that we deal with but most times that hurt can be healed on our own and with time. 

Today the sun is shining, you are breathing fresh air, and there is nothing stopping you from being who you were meant to be.  I feel like it is our right and even our responsibility to put forth an effort to live with joy and hope.  Believing in ourselves by living to our fullest potential creates a world that becomes a better place one person at a time.

Happy New Year to you all!

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