Be the change
Surely we’ve all heard the quote, “be the change”. Often on inspirational posters or the cover of a journal; “be the change you seek to see in the world” is a quote which evokes empowerment. A loft aspiration which can inspire. Certainly, this quote provides that brief pause. However, how often do we follow suit? How often do we behave through the change we seek?
Today, a thought occurred to me: how many of us even know what change we are seeking?! Sure, most of us can say we’d like to see world peace in our lifetime. But what does world peace look like on a micro-scale? For instance, how can we ‘be’ world peace today. Today, I’ll use some recent inspiration to dissect this concept.
As we go through this concept today, think of those in your life who ‘were the change’. For example, a teacher, parent or maybe even a famous role model; who you looked up to and wish you could be more like. Sometimes, being the change, can be as simple as becoming more like those we look up to!
Women in my life
Before we jump into the inspiration, it is important to me to honor two amazing women in my life who have gracefully passed on. Why? Because, these two women lived their lives in a way that if every single person followed our world would reflect what most people think of as heaven.
Firstly, is my paternal grandmother. A woman who exhibited the fruits of the spirit, every day in every way. I can only hope to become more and more like her each day. Secondly, is a sister who, without me knowing, protected me every step of my life. Seemingly, I find it more difficult to describe the relationship between myself and this woman. If you have ever had a protector, or a living guardian angel here on earth from the moment of your birth until the day of their return to the heavens, you will understand my relationship with her. Little did I know it at the time, however.
I mention these two women because they truly lived out, ‘being the change’. And, how blessed I feel to have learned from either of them, but to have had both in my life was a true fortune.
Recently, I listened to the audiobook, “The knowing: Eleven Lessons to Understand the Quiet Urges of Your Soul” by Saje Dyer and Serena Dyer. And yes, I recommend giving this a listen! In this book, the daughters of Wayne Dyer recount their father’s life and lessons. One of the chapters discusses the prayer of Saint Francis; both inspirations to this post. Therefore, I will provide the prayer; as I know not everyone grew up hearing it.
The prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, sow love. When there is injury, may I pardon. Where there is doubt, may I provide a reason to have faith. When someone is in despair, may I be the reason they hope. Where there is darkness, light. And where there is sadness, joy. Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console. To be understood, as to understand. To be loved, as to love. For, it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. And it is in dying, that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Translated from French, 1902. La Clochette, author unknown.
Let’s break this down
Growing up, the prayer of Saint Francis was frequently spoken but rarely discussed. As a result, although I could recite the words, I never truly felt them or even know what it was trying to say. It was much later in life, when this prayer was on the back of the funeral card for one of the ladies mentioned above, that I actually took the time to meditate on the words. Below, you will find some of the themes extracted and explained from my perspective. In the comments section, I would love to hear your interpretation of these themes or something which stands out to you.
Extracting the themes:
Instrument of peace:
What a beautiful thought to be an actual instrument of peace. For me, this brings to mind someone expressing themselves through music or dance. There is a peace which exists inside a person who can express themselves, and a peace of witnessing such expression. Without taking it literally, as I love to do, however think of how you can bring more peace to the world around you. Whether it be as simple as a smile or holding the hand of a loved one. What can you do today to bring peace to your own mind and the world of another?
If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know about my desire to ‘grow love’. Prompted, of course, by the song, “Love grows where my Rosemary goes”. One concept we haven’t talked about yet on my blog is my thought behind what love really is. Because, let’s face it, love isn’t just the butterfly feeling you get, or a deep longing for another. To me, it is more so, an intense admiration, respect and honoring of another. Therefore, to truly sow (or grow) love, it means to truly consider another. To see them for who they are and respect their wishes and boundaries. With this in mind, when thinking of the general public, not just those close to you; how would you show up to sow love to a stranger?
Ah yes, good ol’ forgiveness. There was a recent day in which I felt slighted. After venting to a friend about it, and getting the feeling of humiliation to pass; I finally was able to simply pardon the mistake. Seeing it from a new perspective and knowing the person was not trying to hurt me. I realized I needed to look at things different and get over myself. Think of an injury you’ve been holding on to. Maybe it is time to let it heal and pardon the friend?
Please also know, from my view, there are a many instances in life where the injury is too great, too many times repeated or too great to pardon another. However, being able to move forward and stop giving it power in your life might be the answer.
Inspiring faith and encouraging hope:
These two themes are the very reason for this blog. Prior to the creation of BrightEyedSmiles.com, when I would need a pick-me-up, or encouragement, I’d almost always turn to the internet. Mind you, there have been many books, speakers and friends to also re-ignite faith and hope in me. But there is nothing quite like reading the story of a stranger and seeing a similar circumstance turn out okay to raise my spirits! I sincerely hope this blog provides a bit of reason for faith and hope in your life!
Be light in the darkness: joy to the weary
As part of being a human, we experience tough times, yucky thoughts, moments where the light isn’t at the end of the tunnel. These moments plainly suck. It is only when we have someone or something to put the wind back in our sails. To reassure us the light will come again. And to be the joy when we can’t conjure it ourselves. Just as you will one day need someone to provide this for you, provide it to another today.
Console and Understand
I especially love these lines of the prayer, because it urges us to see another’s comforts and needs; to be aware of them and respond to them. To develop a mutual respect and vulnerable toward one another, allows natural comforting without pity. Most often, it is the very person we have to be a rock for, who will also be the rock for us. Knowing they are borrowing our strength for the moment and in another we can borrow theirs.
It is with hope in my heart, that I complete this post. It is my hope that you have been inspired by that which inspired me. And that as you conclude, you have a few specific ideas in mind on how you can ‘be the change’. If you are open to it, please share below. Also, for those that grew up with this prayer, I’d love to hear about how you feel about it!
Thank you all for reading. This was heavy for me for multiple reasons, but one I enjoyed writing.