I jumped online the other morning, as I do every morning in an effort to wake up my brain and eyes. I grabbed my phone, browsed emails, flipped to Facebook (which immediately made me feel old considering the stigma of it not being a forum for the younger generations any longer; and while I felt a bit bitter about that, I also sensed gratefulness and strength to be in the "older" category now... considering the alternative). The first post I saw was one by SU2C (Stand Up to Cancer), which oddly has since been removed. I don't see their posts often, which makes this one a tad more intriguing. It was a short clip on a woman who was diagnosed, fought, changed her lifestyle and helped educate family and friends then celebrated all within a year and the end of the video posed a question "How have you paid it forward?"
"How have you paid it forward?"
"How have YOU paid it forward?"
"HOW have YOU paid it FORWARD?!" It screamed at me!
My heart sunk. My breath was taken away. I don't know that I have paid it forward, really... though I desperately want to! Then, before I could go any further with my thoughts, the next line popped up "Share in the comments below." Oh, great... now the pressure is on. You want me to share that RIGHT NOW!?! I'm already struggling with HOW to share and pay it forward and now I have to share it immediately... in this post?! No... I can't even begin to figure this out right now. Not happening. So, I scrolled down dismissing it completely. I got through a few other posts, the whole time with guilt and contemplating ignoring that blatant request from a higher place... I knew where it was coming from. I've been feeling that tug grow stronger and stronger. I slumped down like a child told to do chores, then reluctantly scrolled back up and instead of sharing, I decided to analyze the clip to see just where and how this particular woman paid it forward... At first I was confused. How is going through a diagnosis, having a team of friends and family support you and changing your diet considered "paying it forward?" I wasn't trying to attack her, I was just unhappy with my lack of action and wanting to figure it out- how did she do it? Where did she start? How did she get it all done within a year? I'm on year 11 and still attempting to share and pay it forward and with minimal response to help me analyze my efforts... ONE year? Have I really not been paying it forward this entire time? Why can't I think of ONE way I have actually paid it forward? Then they started to pop into my mind... teaching my family about being healthy, teaching our kids how to shop at the grocery store, teaching them all what to look for in food products, sharing my stories (even if sporadic) to give even just one person a shred of hope and happiness in a time of struggle, mentoring fighters as a survivor (for the record, I still hate that term "survivor"... doesn't anyone have an alternative suggestion?), every now and then I will cross paths with someone and offer a bit of strength and encouragement (though I never fully feel confident, my heart is strong when I do this)... and more came through. Yet, somehow, I still lack the feeling of truly "paying it forward." It seems it's just all about me; and with that idea, I'm not content.
I sure would like to know how you pay it forward. Please write in the comments below. And, if you have any suggestions for me to take my aspirations of helping others to the next level... please share.
Love and hugs to you all... enjoy this beautiful day!