When Outside-In becomes Inside-Out…

CEPpicI can’t help but feel slightly, “I told you so-ish” when I say, someday you will find, that the universe (a.k.a. your world) will come full-circle. There will be a day when you have YOUR MOMENT – and it will change you forever, and hopefully, for the better.

If you’ve had that moment, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t know that moment yet, you WILL know that moment at some point in your life. What I’m talking about is the, “Holy Sh*t!” moment when you suddenly see life through someone else’s eyes. That moment when someone else’s struggles become your own.

Yes, you know that moment. Maybe it’s happened to you, or someone you know – maybe you admitted it, or maybe you have kept it to yourself. Either way, it’s a moment that changes you and the way you look at life forever.

You go from looking at a situation from the outside-in, to the inside-out.

I had this happen to me just the other day. I wasn’t the one having the moment, rather it was a good friend of mine. She is organizing a fundraiser for her very close friend’s daughter who is battling cancer. She is so close to the family that she is seeing first-hand how a cancer diagnosis and treatment schedule, in her words, “totally screws up your world”.

Up until that point, she had witnessed cancer from the outside. Yes, she knew of friends (including me) who have lost loved ones to this horrible disease, but had never fully seen the daily struggles and stresses that it brings with it. Until now…

She had that, “moment” the other day when I sent an email telling her that I would donate an auction item from my dance studio. Mind you, I don’t know this family, but I know they are struggling and I wanted to help. You see, I’m an “insider” – I’ve lived it, have earned my stripes, and jump at the chance to help another family. My friend’s response however, took me by surprise. She wrote back, “Yes, we’d LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your donated kids birthday party! Are you kidding? We’ll have a stampede for that one! Thank you for being so sweet and generous. And if I was ever not supportive or not understanding about how bad cancer sucks and how it totally screwed up your world, I am so so sorry. Young, old…whatever – it blows. It’s heartbreaking and devastating and I wish some really smart person (preferably female) would find a cure. Is that too much to ask?”

Yes, my friend is witty with a great sense of humor, and yes, I hope it’s a female who finds the cure as well! But the real message behind all of this is that you really don’t know what it’s like until you really live it. Sure, you can imagine a terminal diagnosis, or a sudden death happening to you, your spouse, your child, your family member…but until it actually does, you really have no idea what it’s really like. You’re living life looking at loss from the outside-in. You get to go home – you get to go back to work – you get to go back to life. You, “visit” it for a while, but you don’t sleep in the same bed, wake up every morning, and spend 24 hours a day with it. You don’t know it until you’ve lived it.

I hold a special place for those whom I know, “Get It”. They’re the ones who don’t judge because they have been judged themselves. They’re the ones who have had to endure pain beyond measure and still find a way to get out of bed every day. They’re my, “insiders” – the ones who truly get it.

  • Sheila

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