What Comes Around Goes Around

I believe in the law of attraction and I also believe that what you put into the world is what you get out of it.
I pride myself on being tuned into other people and what they are feeling. I think this emotional intelligence was something that I inherited from my parents. Both of my parents worked in the field of education (school counselor and special education teacher). They each have their own special and unique way of empathizing with other people. I learned early on to “put myself in someone else’s shoes”. I attribute this upbringing to my choice to pursue a career in social work.
Sometimes being so aware of others needs (and feeling this self-imposed need to “be there” for everyone), I can neglect my own needs. (For more on that see my blog from last month.) It’s important to find the balance, to attend to others and yet still prioritize your own self-care. This is something I have to work on constantly.
There is so much negativity and hatred in our world today, not just in the U.S. but internationally. We are bombarded with news of terrorist attacks, shootings, assault and loss of life. It can feel very heavy, discouraging, overwhelming and hopeless. At times, I can feel overpowered and paralyzed by all I think needs to be improved, changed, and fixed in our world. We may even feel like that in our own personal world and community. There’s so much to do and so little time, power, control. What can one little social worker like me do? I can love. And you can too.
Recently, my neighbor pulled in from work and shared with me about her bad day (and it really was one for the books!) so I sent over a small bottle of wine (the little ones you get at the grocery store, I think of them as travel size wine) and some chocolates with a note to “hang in there”. It was an easy thing to do, didn’t take much time, only a few minutes and it helped her to know someone cares. Now I can’t change the circumstances of her day and fix the huge problem she is facing in her practice but I can offer her encouragement and support.
That same week, a parent I know, through my daughter’s team, lost a family member. It was on my heart to do something but I didn’t have a lot of time that week. However, I know when the universe puts something like that on your heart you should not ignore it and should honor that intention. So I took a few minutes to make some banana bread and sent it, along with a note, to their family. That gesture only took about 30 mins of my time in total (I can do other things while the bread is baking) but it added love to this family. I’m powerless to resolve the heartbreak she is feeling and don’t even necessarily have the right words (if there are any when you lose a loved one?) But ultimately, people want and need to know they are thought of and cared for.
So why are these two examples significant? Well this past month has been very challenging for my family. Our beloved pet (aka family member) passed away. This is the first time we’ve lost a pet and the experience of loss was much harder than we anticipated. Then to compound things, a week later my daughter had a serious health issue that landed us at urgent care, who sent us to the ER with a follow up to the doctor, which sent us back to the hospital for more tests, followed by subsequent doctor visits and calls. Needless to say all of that was taxing on us, physically and emotionally. However, the love that was bestowed on us during those challenging weeks helped to buffer everything we felt. It reminded me that when you put love into the world, love comes back to you. Friends, neighbors, family have been so in tuned with supporting us, from gifts & cards in the mail, to a pie and calls and text messages. It’s made a huge difference in our time of need.
So what does this mean for you? It could mean to take advantage of the opportunities to show love to others around you. A simple smile and hello or small gesture could be just what someone needs to buoy them during one of life’s storms. And it could also mean that this energy of kindness will come back to you when you hit a rough patch during your life’s journey. It’s important to remember and encouraging to know that what comes around goes around.