Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Inside, Outside, Loving All Around

Earlier this morning I was hit with one of those Facebook pop-ups. A memory from last year.

When I saw the picture I was reminded of an awesome time last year in a picture of Liz and I on our way to the Romance Writers of America conference in Orlando last summer. It was a crazy and fun road trip adventure driving from Ontario to Florida.

This is a great pic of Liz and I, and one of my favorites. Look at those two smiling kids. Fresh air, sunshine, an awesome beer spot. The world belongs to them.

But it was also an interesting reminder that, when I took this picture I was suffering from a nasty bout of food poisoning. The painful side-effects of the food poisoning was hitting me in repeated waves that morning, and just wanted to curl up into a ball and leave the rest of the world behind. I should NOT have eaten those raw oysters the night before. I haven't been able to eat raw oysters since then. Such is the post-effect of food poisoning.

The last thing I wanted to do was be in a car for 10 or 12 more hours, to be heading to a conference where I had to be on stage, on panels, conduct business meetings and Facebook live videos with various folks.

I remember the usual side-effects, combined with sweating profusely (not just the heat, but the fever of my body trying to get rid of the poison inside) that began that morning and lasted for days. But I was committed to this road trip, we had plenty of fun things to do on our way, and, arriving in Orlando, I needed to go on to do my usual work at the annual RWA conference with nobody I hung out with or had business meetings with knowing the internal physical pain I was suffering. 

Fortunately, I was a-okay mentally and emotionally, so was able to apply a "mind over matter" element and make the best of it. But not everybody is so fortunate. And some pain and internal suffering is not something where "mind over matter" works.

Reflecting on this was a reminder to me that perhaps, while we share the "perfect picture life" sometimes on social media, with big grins and a "smiling" exterior, there might be internal turmoils (mental, emotional) that aren't shared so cavalierly.

Maybe the "moral" of me sharing this (and apologies to anyone who thinks that my food poisoning experience is a little TMI) is to pause a moment to consider those you care about and others around you.

Even if they are posting happy and positive things, it never hurts to let them know you are there for them or that they are important to you. They might be experiencing pain that is invisible to the rest of the world. They might be suffering from an unseen anxiety or turmoil that isn't being shared.

Heck, maybe even strangers or others you encounter in your day to day. You know that jackass that pissed you off because they said something or did something in a way you don't agree with? Perhaps they were struggling with something you aren't able to see and perhaps it came out wrong. It might perhaps, be worth a moment or two of pausing to reflect on that and not jumping all over them.

And, even if that person you care about, that friend, or that stranger that rubbed you the wrong way isn't suffering, isn't it a good thing to just take a moment to spread a little bit of kindness, or love, out into the world?

The cost, to you, is virtually nothing. But the worth, to them, could be priceless.

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