I just finished a 6 hour drive with my wife and five month old daughter to spend the weekend at my in-laws. The trip is actually much longer when you consider the 3am wake up and pack to leave at 4. As I drove through California, I had a moment where everyone was asleep and there were no cars on the road, there was actually silence, and I realized two things; 1) I was only half way to my destination (halfway closer to my finish for those of you who did not get up at 3am), and 2) why are we doing this when we just have to turn around and do the trip again 48 hours later.
The pity party lasted about five minutes and then I gave into the silence and my thoughts. It came to me that this trip as much about life as anything I will ever do because it is about sharing. In this case we are sharing the 4th of July with our Southern California family, sharing our daughter with her extended family that she does not get to see very often, and giving my wife the chance to spend time with her immediate family whom she adores.
As my thoughts went on, I began to think about all that must be shared in order to be appreciated and to give appreciation. In success we need to share excellence, to love we must share our heart, to withstand failure we must share our fears, and trust requires that we share our ego.
Sharing is the piece of life that allows fulfillment from birth to death. We have the ability to experience many things solo, but there is no meaning attached to it when we don’t have someone else to benefit from our experience. The common bond in sharing is that no matter how old you are, it is difficult to do. For children it means watching someone enjoy something that is rightfully yours, and for adults is means exposing yourself for who you really are and hope that acceptance is waiting at the other end. In either age bracket there is a nervousness associated with the opportunity to share that highlights our insecurities and plays into our fears.
When we allow ourselves to overcome us, we give others a pathway into who we really are. This is a great opening because we all have amazing stories to bless onto others as well as learn from those around us. If we allow ourselves to believe that life is as much about learning as it is about teaching, then we open ourselves to the idea of sharing and all the power that comes with this transparency.
Without anyone knowing who we are and how we got here, does it really matter? If we deny others the right to share with us, do we really matter? Our life’s fulfillment lies in our ability to share our toys, thoughts, heart, and selves with those around us, as well as giving others the chance to return the blessing. In doing so, our impact can be felt beyond what we see in the mirror and extended onto those who we both teach and are taught by.