In watching a documentary about nature photographers one of the things they said is photography is all about light. I realized that our experiences are often just finding the right light in your life.
I’m talking about the people and environment that support us and allow us to shine. Everyone is unique and valuable, yet not everyone believes so. It takes just one person to listen and believe in someone else to be the light in that person’s life.
That is why to me, being kind is so crucial and valuable. It takes awhile to learn that the thoughts and feelings we have do not always help us, and often are the obstacle to our own happiness. The greatest happiness has been in making others feel respected and listened to, and it is so simple yet so rare to find.
What is the light we can be to others? It is not trying to convince anyone of anything. I learned that convincing others doesn’t work. People do what they want to do, and you only give them permission to feel safe and valued for the kind of person you are.
We don’t have to be the light in others lives. It isn’t our duty or responsibility. As you grow in kindness and love toward yourself however, you often find yourself wanting to let others be themselves. One of the most powerful things that I learned from Stephen Covey was his 8th rule. “Find your voice and help others to find theirs.”
Everyone has a voice, and that voice may or not be aligned with their deepest self. Many times getting to know someone is just stepping back and letting their presence be. I have learned to stop analyzing others because my thoughts and experiences are limited. You can sense where people are when they talk and share with you.
If you can’t let people be themselves, then it is better to leave them alone.