You can help take away someone’s pain

hope6It’s the middle of the night.

And I’m still awake.

I replay my nightly thoughts of how things aren’t working out the way I had hoped.

My life is in limbo.

I am tired – so very tired, yet my mind is unbelievably restless.

It’s shooting in a thousand directions. 

Nothing has worked, so my brain comes up with everything and anything in a mad attempt to gain evidence of progress.

But there isn’t any. I cannot stick with anything long enough to give it a chance.

Am I afraid of failure, or of success? Or both? 

Why can’t I focus? 

I can feel time running out – literally feel the hours, minutes and seconds passing through me.

And the more the clock ticks, the more anxious I become.

I have blamed other people. But mostly, I blame myself.

That annoying, endless inner voice keeps telling me that I am no good. My dreams, I conclude, are unrealistic – foolish even. The naysayers were right.

The few friends I have do not understand me.

The sweat pours down from my brow. My heart beats powerfully and quickly. 

I lay in a bed of confusion and hopelessness.

I know that tomorrow will be the same. And the day after that, the same again. And again.

That was me speaking to myself years ago.

I was wrong about what would come.

The turning point was meeting a manager of mine named Mike, 15 years my senior. For reasons unexplained, Mike saw things in me that I could not see myself.

“You have an amazing way about you,” he explained. “I see a sense of humor mixed with very serious thought.”

I was sure that Mike was not well.

Here I was, in a sea of self-doubt and pity. What was Mike on, I wondered.

But he persisted, and encouraged me to try new things. In fact, he insisted on it, daring me to go forward – always saying, “The worst that can happen is you’ll end up exactly where you are now.”

I had lost track of Mike for many years.

But this week, I learned of his passing following a long battle with cancer.

I had always hoped to see Mike again, but life, being as busy as it is – made sure that never happened.

He was one of the best mentors a person could have.

Can you become a mentor today to someone you know is hurting?

Give them an approving smile, an encouraging word – dare them to try new things.

You have that power.

In honor of Mike, today I am doing what I can to encourage others. The greatest joy is to see them grow.

Will you join me in making a difference out there?

It doesn’t matter if you yourself are troubled.

Someone needs you.

“Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson


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