Looking at my life today, it would seem strange to think that I never fit it and didn’t have many friends. For a long time though, that was the case. I know how it feels to be left out or made fun of and I can empathize today when I see kids teasing each other or being unkind. Perhaps that’s why I still don’t like to be teased as an adult.
Gratitude Tip: We’ve all been through challenging situations in our past, whether you were the one who was left out or the one doing the leaving out – it’s difficult either way. How do we find gratitude in these experiences? Often our memories of the past do focus on the more positive experiences and help to lessen the pain of difficult ones. Gratitude can be found by making a decision to change our behaviour as adults and no longer treat people the way we treated them in school. We could also be grateful for the way these different experiences shaped us today, perhaps we are more empathetic or inclusive of others because we know how it feels to be left out or teased.
Here’s a little peek into my past experiences. For two summers while I was studying Kinesiology at McMaster University, I had the chance to work at Sports Fitness School (SFS) – an amazing day school program for kids during the summer. It is a combination of many different sports and fitness activities for kids from 6 – 14 years of age. The program still operates today. While I was peeking though my box of treasures today, I found these pages.
It’s a compilation of the quotes of the day that I shared everyday for the entire program. I created a little board and arrived early each morning to share a quote of the day. I was trying to be anonymous but I’m sure many people knew that it was me. Here is the personal part of the story. When I worked at SFS, I was still dealing with a chronic knee injury and couldn’t run. Part of the program involved running different trails with the kids a few times a session. Since I couldn’t run (that’s what I believed at that time, of course I did an Ironman many years later) I wasn’t able to sign up for course and I would end up supervising the kids that ran around the track. I was very much embarrassed about this and a few of the people I worked with openly made fun of me because of this. The real reason I shared a thought of the day? I was trying to make myself feel better and be accepted. I was trying REALLY hard. I’m sure if anyone who worked with me that summer read this post, they would be nodding their heads. The thing is, I didn’t have to try so hard. And if I didn’t make a big deal about not being able to run – no one else would have either.
What we often don’t realize is that everyone has their own insecurities and challenges – and if we just focus on being the best person we can be and giving 100% everyday, then that’s ok! That’s our best and no one can ask for more. I spent a lot of time worrying about what others were thinking (occasionally I still do) and chances are – they weren’t even thinking about me. In fact, it’s very egotistical to believe that others are spending their time thinking about you. I promise you that they aren’t. It’s far more likely that they are worried about what you think of them.
I have always loved collecting quotes and sharing them in my writing. As I grow as a writer, I make more and more of my own quotes, that perhaps will be sharing by others in the future. What are some of your favorite quotes that get you through the day? Do you have any special ones hanging in your home or office?
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