Years ago, I read a Maya Angelou quote that stuck with me: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I often remember the conversations I’ve had, but it isn’t the words that have stayed with me. It’s the feelings beneath the words I remember. Those feelings have left indelible marks on me, some leaving psychological scars while others lifting my faith in humanity.
Recently, I was reminded of the quote when I was listening to the Next Level Soul podcast about near death experiences (NDE). David Suich, the guest, has interviewed over 1,000 people who have had NDEs. He said the people who travel into the spirit realm before returning back to earth go through a life review.
During this life review, they relive scenarios (without judgment) from people that have been impacted by their actions throughout their lives. They experience what the other person felt during the time of their interaction.
So, if this person with the NDE came to someone’s aid in a time of distress, they experience the feelings of the other person- the worry, the anxiety, the gratitude for someone coming to their rescue. If this person was physically or emotionally abusive, they feel the shame, the humiliation, the anger from the person they inflicted harm upon.
The life review shows what it’s like to live in the eyes of the other person. Again, this is done without judgment. It’s an instrument to help us transcend beyond ourselves.
I get it. We have bleeding hearts. The emotional scars run so deep that we don’t know if we can ever be good enough or worthy of the life we desire. We’ve been broken till there’s nothing left to break. We don’t know who we can trust because we don’t fully trust ourselves. So we self-isolate and disassociate ourselves from society while licking our wounds, wondering when the healing will be complete.
What if real healing is giving someone else a feeling that makes them feel cared for? What if healing happens in becoming a better person today than you were yesterday?
Maybe engaging in a conversation with a random stranger is all it takes to reshape their world or even yours. Or a smile is enough for someone’s world to get brighter and make you feel warmer inside. Or coming to someone’s defense when they need a beacon of hope. Maybe it’s those simple acts that make you the antidote to someone’s misery.
We’ll never know how deeply and profoundly we impact someone’s life but we can give others the feelings we wish others would give us. It doesn’t just help us to become kinder, it makes the world a gentler and softer place to live in. We become better people today than we were yesterday.
How are you transforming in your sobriety journey- how has your thinking changed, who do you hope to become, what do you want your legacy to be?Leave a comment below. Also, please be sure to share this with anyone that may benefit from it.
I’ll see you soon…in the meantime, love yourself so much that even a Hallmark Christmas movie would be jealous.