It’s a Wonderful Life!
One of my favorite movies and one I felt compelled to watch last night. My life right now feels like a mix between this movie and book “The Five People you Meet in Heaven.” I can see and feel the impact my life has had on others and I’d like to think that has been mostly positive (and yes, it has 😉
At the same time, I also feel pulled in other directions. I’ve been lucky to have been able to do some exploring, some traveling, some “doing what I want” over the years. But like the character, George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” George, from a young age, always dreamed of leaving his hometown, exploring the world, going to college, and then building new wonderful things… but he never leaves his hometown. He makes choices based on family and what he feels is right or important for his community that keep him from what he thinks will make him happier. He marries, has beautiful family, helps many people… but problems develop and he feels he could just end his life, his family would have his insurance money, and others would be better off without him. An angel steps in to help him recognize what a wonderful he really does have through showing him what the world would like had he never been born. The impact of even his smallest deeds, like giving a few dollars to help a friend, turns out to be life changing for so many others!
Like George Bailey, I want to do more, yet at the same time, I am choosing to be here in my hometown again… sometimes feeling it’s not by choice, but by obligation.
You may struggle with those feelings too. Most of us want to do the “right” thing, we want to help others, we want to make choices that are in our family or community’s best interests… and sometimes we make those choices at the expense of what we truly want.
So, how do we create a balance? How do we make choices that honor us and still allow us to feel good about our part in our families and communities?
I think the first step is what we are doing here in the 40 Day LoveFest – learning to love our Self more! As we do that, we are able to fully appreciate and love the choices we make – no matter if, for a moment, it doesn’t feel like a choice. We can own more of our choices and blame outside influences less. We can honor our Self.
AND – we can create our own “It’s a Wonderful Life” experience list. Imagine you are George Bailey and Clarence the Angel, has given you the opportunity to see what the world would be like if you’d never been born! Make a list of the things you have done and the impact it’s had on your life, life of others, even the community. These things can be big or small… like helping a nephew with his homework and he learns math, or being an example as a cub scout leader, cleaning up a park, or even in your job, the difference you make for your customers or company. Everything you have done has potential to impact the lives of others.
If you have a hard time creating your “It’s a wonderful life” list – ask for help. Ask a friend or family member why they love you – ask them to share what they see as your positive qualities (no negatives allowed!). In return, do the same for them. It’s a powerful exercise and can be eye-opening to hear what others see in you.
Please share what you learned from this exercise below!