Giving of Yourself for a Worthy Cause
“All Gave Some, Some Gave All
Some stood through for the red, white and blue
And some had to fall”
This post came to me after a particularly emotional lead up to a Wednesday. Nothing significant in the big scheme of things but emotional nonetheless for me. With events that have taken place in the United States recently and my personal and family life, the concept of “giving of yourself for a worthy cause” is resonating with me from the tips of my toes to the top of my sweaty head. And it has caused me to take a step back, wipe my lens and pause. I seem to be doing a lot of that lately…
I was watching the Hand in Hand telethon last night and there was a line that someone quoted that stayed with me. That particular host was talking about ways in which we can give back and help the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma and they stated a quote from Muhammad Ali which was, “Service to others is the rent we pay for our room here on Earth.” Think about that for just a minute. Let that marinate and really soak it in. It’s a powerful and humbling concept.
Giving of yourself for a worthy cause
When I think about giving of yourself for a worthy cause I think about two words: service and self. Allow me to articulate.
When we are giving of ourselves to a something that is bigger than whom we are, we are giving a SERVICE to something or someone else. Whatever it is that we are giving, whether it is our time, a helping hand, $10 that we had allocated somewhere else, a listening ear - it doesn't matter. In my opinion, we are putting ‘I’ on the back burner, putting the needs of someone or something else before our own agenda.
The worthy cause that I often think we leave behind is self. I’m not talking hitting Lululemon and giving to yourself. There’s another term for that. I mean truly taking the time to give back to our inner selves. Treat ourselves with kindness. Compassion. Every once in awhile, choose YOU. Between families, work, friends, the gym, dogs, blah blah blah - it’s real easy to lose you, much less care for you. What we fail to realize is that we ARE a cause worthy of giving our all to.
So right now in the United States, in particular after the aftermath of Harvey and Irma, we are in a blissful state of giving. If you’re anything like me, I have been touched to my core to see people helping people. It didn’t matter the color of skin, your socioeconomic background or whom you voted for. People stepped up to the plate to help out those in need. Some of the cooler examples that I read about:
I thought this was incredible. Last I checked over 800 families in the Texas area had registered their homes on Airbnb so that families that were without a home, lost their home, had nowhere to go could come and stay with them. FOR FREE! People making a home for people.
Habitat for Humanity
The Hand in Hand telethon last night was directly connected to Habitat for Humanity - fun fact. There were a boatload of celebrities that were taking calls and taking donations over the phone. All of the funds received will go directly to support Habitat for Humanity’s response to both hurricanes. People donating for other people.
Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops donated over 80 boats to the government and other rescue organizations in the Houston area. Donated. A convoy of boats to help bring people to safety with no regards to their bottom line. People reaching out for people.
The company has sent generators to Texas and other parts of the country and started getting equipment ready to assist with clean up efforts. People empowering other people.
This is another super awesome one. The company was started by two Columbia graduate students whom invented a portable, waterproof light that can be packed flat and recharged with solar power. Through fundraising efforts and company donations, LuminAid has sent over 4000 lights to hurricane victims. People bringing light to other people.
In the midst of these catastrophic events where lives have been lost, homes have been destroyed, niceties that we take for granted - thousands, hundreds of thousands of people have put ‘I’ on the back burner and have given of themselves selflessly to a worthy cause. Not thinking about what was on their agenda, their calendar, their to-do list, the vacation they were saving for - none of that. And that, my friends, well THAT is called service. And it’s a beautiful thing.
A little bit harder to write about but equally as important is how we give to ourselves. And if you don’t give to yourself then maybe I’ll inspire you to start doing so. And a little bit goes a long way. I don’t want your spouse coming home and seeing a room full of new clothes, expensive bottles of wine all the while you’re getting a personal massage during a session with your life coach and you saying “Don’t get mad at me! Hallie said I could!” That is NOT what I’m saying so feel free to scratch out some notes.
Take moments of pause
I know you’re tired of me preaching about it but it’s so darn important. To give to yourself you need to take moments of pause. When those moments hit you like what I talked about with the quote last night during the telethon - take a second, a minute if you have it and pause and reflect on the importance of that moment. I promise you that if you start practicing moments of pause in your life, really opening yourself up to it, you will be amazed at how much more positive you feel and how much more of your life you are truly present in.
“You’ve got to stop and smell the roses. You’ve got to count your many blessings everyday”
Listen, I know many of you reading this have calendars that look like mine. We are scheduled to the minute with appointments and to-do lists and games and weddings (please no more wedding invites) and it literally fills our days, our weeks, our months. Start saying NO. I mean choose your battles of course but if it adds one more thing onto your plate, it’s something you really don’t want to do than start saying no. Someone taught me a cool little trick yesterday and it goes like this “I would love to but I am so over-scheduled and given what a rockstar you are, I know for sure that you understand that. My plate is just too full right now.” Granted, the word NO isn’t in there but the intent to decline politely with a little bit of flattery goes a long way. You say ‘yes’ plenty. A little no never hurt anybody.
“And I said: No no no no, I don’t drink it no more. I’m tired of wakin’ up on the floor. No, thank you, please.”
I love this one. Take ownership of who you are. Embrace it. I mean, I think I’m pretty amazing but I know there’s lots of people out there that don’t. And hey, that’s okay! Own whom you are, what you think, what you wear, the words that come out of your mouth. Own your family. If you didn’t give 110% - own it. There is something liberating by not hiding from your faults OR hiding from your successes. It’s okay as well to say, “I am proud of what I did too. Thank you!” Good, bad or ugly - own it.
“And I said, he’s mine that one. Got a wild-haired side and then some. It’s no surprise what he’s done.”
Be forgiving of yourself. Your transgressions. Your mistakes. We spend a lot of time beating ourselves up. We analyze it, we talk about it, we dissect it and say woulda coulda shoulda. Forgive yourself.
“Oh it seems to me that sorry seems to be the hardest word.”
It’s important to remember that you are a cause worthy of giving to. Giving yourself a break. Some time. A day off, a moment to reflect, some courtesy and understanding. I often think that if we treated ourselves as well as we treat others in our life, can you imagine how much happier we would be? How much more fulfilled and loved? Be good to you.
Giving of yourself in my world
As I said it’s been an emotional week, really kind of an emotional summer. And I have three examples of giving of yourself that I’ll share. Maybe you’ll find reason to pause - as a person, as a parent or as an athlete.
My Rob is an ideal example of giving of yourself for a worthy cause. He eats, breathes and lives a life of service to others. Cops used to be seen as the proverbial good guy and now, well not necessarily so much. But it doesn’t matter to my husband. He puts on that uniform every morning and walks out the door with one thought - to serve the citizens of his state. And I can tell you that he has put YOU first time and time again, risked his life in his service to you. Missed out on things at home, family vacations, important personal memories that he didn’t get to make - because he took a pledge to protect. A commitment to service.
Oh and that oldest son of mine…My CJ this summer surpassed every expectation I could have had. He set a goal for himself and invested every breath he took into bringing the very best version of himself to the table come September. Endurance training weekly, weightlifting four days a week. Speed and agility training every Friday. Training with a quarterback coach every Sunday. Working construction 20-30 hours a week. Tutoring every Thursday to prepare to take the SAT. We drove across the state to other states and then back again. Volunteer work every week. You name it - he did it. He clicked that switch and went from “Why me” and said instead, “Why not me…” As his parent, there were times my heart ached. He was tireless in his efforts and you want so badly for it all to happen for him and WHAT IF IT DOESN’T. He gave himself to a worthy cause - his future. All of this to continue to lay the groundwork for what he wants out of his life. It is humbling. A commitment to tomorrow.
And because I gotta practice what I preach, I am choosing myself. In all of the schedules of the summer, all the times I ran back and forth and back again, there were moments where I just had to say NO. And ask for help. And stop and appreciate that in all of the chaos I have this amazing daughter, my tenacious Lexi, that I get one on one time with every morning. And embrace it because she will be gone in August. And I did. And in all of the crazy CJ schedules I reminded myself constantly to be grateful for his journey, his grit, his determination. And I am. And my little, he’s changed the most and he stepped up to the plate this summer and rolled with every punch thrown his way and is walking to the beat of his own drum, staying true to whom Jackson Daniel is. And I’ve had to watch the last vestige of boyhood drift away and embrace the new man that stands in his place. And I have.
I have a comp in just over a week, hardest one I’ve done to date. And in this last week of hitting it hard, I have given all I have, my focus and my intent to one thing - myself. I have done my best to dial in to the best of me and my hard work and just appreciate where I’ve been and how far I’ve come this past year and where I’m at now. I’ve fought for it. I’ve struggled for it. I’ve earned it. And I am 1000% worth it. A commitment to self.
I urge you to give of yourself for something. A cause that you deem worthy. Your family. Your church. A neighbor. A stranger that needs a hand up. Because it is when we live a life of service that we TRULY ARE LIVING. And make sure that you are giving to yourself. Because when we give to ourselves, are good to ourselves, we bring out our BEST SELVES. And you are so worth it!
“Give a little bit. Give a little bit of your love to me. Give a little bit. I’ll give a little bit of my love to you. There’s so much that we need to share. So send a smile and show you care.”