Friday, March 25, 2016

Making A Difference


Have you ever wondered if you make a difference in the world? Even just a little bit? I think about that. Probably more than I should. Especially the older I get. I wonder if people I’ve spoken to in the S-Anon program have reflected on the words I’ve said or written. Have I made an impact? Helped anyone? I’d like to think so. Don’t we all?

I’m pretty sure I’ve made a difference in some people’s lives. There are several that continue to contact me for support and advice. That tells me I've provided them some pearls of wisdoms along the way.

No, I’m not looking for accolades in the comments sections or words of reassurances. I think what I’m feeling at the moment is vulnerable. Yikes! I hate that feeling. Again, don’t we all? I’m feeling vulnerable because I’m getting closer each week to releasing my self-help book. That means I’m putting myself and my family at risk so I can help others and that leaves me to wonder is it worth it?

The feedback I’ve gotten on my book so far makes me think yes, the risk is worth the end result…but also leaves me wondering…are they all just being kind? Not wanting to hurt my ever so fragile feelings? It’s not out of the realm of possibility, but these are all strong confident people such as myself. If they didn’t like it, they’d tell me. Gently but honestly. At least I hope so. I know I would tell them if the tables were turned.


If you were asked to critique something would you be honest? Have you made a difference in someone’s life?

37 comments:

  1. As a child of God, I'm called to make a difference, and can only do my best and hope I'm succeeding.
    You've picked some good people to work with. They would tell you.
    I was softer in the beginning. I didn't want to hurt my critique partner's feelings. Now I understand the value of being honest and helping them create a bitter story.

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    1. I think that's the path I'm on too, Alex. I believe that I've been through this for a reason bigger than myself. As corny as it sounds, I feel I'm meant to help people avoid the hurt I've been through by writing the book and continuing to be in support groups and offer myself in service. But that feeling of vulnerability remains because it's such a stigmatized disease. Next week I'll be writing about what Devin overheard at his support group. It hurt his heart.

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  2. It's risky enough publishing a book, let alone one that contains so much personal information. But it's that honesty that will move someone to better his or her life. It will be worth it.

    The slogan for my 5-book series was "Get inspired to achieve your dreams," and I hope I was able to do just that.

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    1. I think you're right, Diane. I'm at a point where I'm weighing the risk against the gain. I'm understanding that it's not my own personal gain because it's not about me. I'll never be rich because there won't be a book tour or anything like that. I'll quietly let the book get out there and make sure it's affordable to everyone and hope that they can be inspired by my experiences like people were inspired by you. Thank you.

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  3. I'd like to be honest when I'm critiquing but it's much easier to do that when you don't know the person vs. a friend's work. I don't know if I've made a difference in anyone's life. Probably my husband's. He was a very angry, damaged soul when we got together and he seems very happy now.

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    1. I think it'd be harder to critique someone if you know them personally, that'd make sense. It'd be harder to face them seeing them in everyday life. I'll bet you've been a positive influence, a calming force in your husband's life since you two have been married. You've been good for him, JoJo. You guys have such a wonderful love story.

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  4. Hi Elsie - I'm sure what you're doing via your posts, talks, events and your book will benefit a surprising number of people - there may be turmoil at the beginning - I think that happens if the mark is hit - people may react in unexpected ways ... but you'll be strong because enough people will benefit from your book and your writings.

    I know I occasionally touch the mark with friends - manage to say the right words and do the right thing ... I also frustratingly manage to go the other way - but sometimes my words are taken in a different light ...

    It's good you're feeling vulnerable ... if you didn't - you wouldn't have done yourself proud - good luck - I'm sure all will be well ... and we're here ... all the very best - and have a peaceful Easter - Hilary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary. While your words scare me quite a bit, that probably means they are accurate. There may be some unexpected turmoil for me, who knows what it may be, some hurt feelings here and there for me and Devin perhaps? It will pass and make us stronger and a better couple because of it. Hopefully, I will be able to touch enough people to make a difference for them.

      I'm happy to know that you have the knowledge of knowing you've managed to say the right words and done the right things in your friend's lives. What a blessing! I'm sure even in the times when things were taken in the wrong way at the time, after some reflections, it was processed properly. Happy Easter to you too.

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  5. I try and make the fewest ripples I can. There are too many people making too many ripples already.

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    1. And here I am creating ripples on purpose...

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  6. The cat lets the honesty flow if asked too, but I do it in a nice, or mocking lol, way at my zoo. Making a difference? Who knows

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    1. Oh, I think you're a lot nicer than you let on cat...a heart bigger than the Atlantic and Pacific!! Just a hunch!!

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  7. Who knows who is reading what we write, seeing how we daily live? But people do read, do see. Like salt or acid is the question of our lives. Are we agents of healing or hurting? For each weed we pluck from the road, each rock we toss aside as we walk, the path is that much better for the ones who follow after.

    Each person we meet is fighting a battle about which no one knows. Sometimes a true smile can make all the difference in the world to a person with none of their own. Great post.

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    1. Wow. I could not agree with you more, Roland. People we meet each and every day are fighting some kind of inner demon we know nothing about. A smile is plastered on their face while their insides may very well be torn apart. I want nothing more than to help people avoid that if I can, even just a little bit. You're right. Who knows who is reading what we write? Certainly not me but I guess the right people will be put along my path if they are meant to be. Thank you. Your words really resonated with me.

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  8. As a stepfather I have hoped I made a difference with my other halfs son when I moved in and he was 11 and is now 26!

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    1. I'm guessing that you did, Fran. I think you were a very positive influence on her son over the years.

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  9. Probably the only real difference I've made in my life is with my son. I think I'm a good mom. :)

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    1. I'm with you, Lu. That's the one place I can say with positive definitiveness that I did things right, at least in the last few years, is with my kids. They've all turned out well and for that I'm both grateful and proud. :)

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  10. Of course we are honest!! You also seem to be forgetting this-if people are afraid to hurt your feeling they also don't need to participate at all. But people are reading and commenting and reaching out.

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    1. Aw, you're far too kind, Jaclyn. You've been one of my long time readers...like from my original blog, and I appreciate that immensely. You've been with me through thick and thin and behind the scenes. You're right, people don't have to participate if they don't want to, and by people continuing to comment it shows me that I have that support. I need to remember that when vulnerability rears it's ugly head. Thank you for reminding me of that. :)

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    2. We got you, girl!!! And I'm not just saying it-you're awesome and VERY talented. You have a way with words that some of wish we possessed.

      Have a fabulous weekend and a very happy Easter. xo

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  11. All you can do, as they say, is cast your bread upon the water and hope God blesses it. That's what I do with Sunday Message and Project IS.

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    1. Project IS? You'll have to share more with me on that, Chris. Or I'll have to read up on your blog on Sundays. I don't remember that. But you're right. I have to take the chance and go with it. What will be will be. If God wills it then thine will be done.

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    2. Look here...
      http://humbleauthorbsp.blogspot.com/2015/12/sunday-message-little-help-here.html
      and here...
      http://humbleauthorbsp.blogspot.com/2016/01/sunday-message-look-what-you-did.html

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  12. I argue the point, that it doesn't matter what any of your critique partners think because in the end, YOU need to like it.

    Don't get me wrong, having a solid critique partner that doesn't blow rainbows up your bunghole, is a great thing. But in the end, you as a writer, need to trust yourself.

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    1. Ah, touche', Ivy! And a valid argument too. But I think because I'm so new, and well, so very insecure and unsure of myself that me liking it (okay, loving it) just isn't enough at the moment. I'm terrified! Bryan would never blow the proverbial sunshine and rainbows up my butt because he knows it would get me nowhere as a writer (why I adore him so much) but that doesn't mean I'm still not frightened of that exposure and those cutting reviews that may crop up. Hell, will crop up! Gah!

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    2. You're not a newbie anymore, Babe. You're just about passed the honeymoon stage, yes? And ready for big girl pants. I know it can be scary but really, you've been through far worse and tougher things, than what someone thinks. And critique partners though well-meaning, are not always right.

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  13. Hold your breath, keep good thoughts, and all you need to do is click "Publish"! You'll have landed. With every review that expresses vulnerability, you'll feel rewarded. And I recently bought and hung a plaque that reads: "Fortune favors the brave." How cool is that? You are and will be fortunate for having made that brave move. Love ya, girlie!

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    1. I love your plaque, Robyn! Very awesome indeed! You're right, as usual. The moment I actually hit publish, and that initial fear subsides, I'm going to be damn proud of myself. It's a matter of working through my vulnerability and learning how to manage it. I know I can do it. I'm one tough cookie! We both are :)

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  14. If "It's a Wonderful Life" has taught me anything, it's that we all make a difference in someone's life. Good or bad (hopefully good!.

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    1. What a fantastical reference, Al. Such a great movie with such a great life lesson! Really not just for Christmas, huh?

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  15. When someone asks me to critique something they've written, I always warn them first that I don't pull punches. If I see something that I feel needs work, I'll say so.

    As for touching other people's lives... I do think I've touched people with my writing in some small way at least, and yes, it does feel amazing to me when I realize it. :-)

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    1. I think that's the way to do, Misha. I'd rather have someone be honest than blow smoke up my butt. I mean, be nice about it, but be honest too. No sense in someone telling me what I want to hear, than I'll never improve.

      That's awesome to know you've been able to touch people's lives with your writing. That's a true blessing!

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  16. I don’t think so, but I am honest in what I like to do or act. My thoughts perhaps inspire some people and some have confront it in my blog.

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    1. I think that you've been able to touch people's lives through your blog for sure, Jeevan. I've learned a lot about your country by reading it and I've enjoyed your many pictures.

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  17. I used to struggle a lot with the idea that I hadn't made a difference to anyone - it was a part of a period of severe depression. I don't feel that way anymore but I certainly understand feeling vulnerable. I have no doubt your book will help more people than you can even imagine.

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    1. My heart goes out to you, Julie. I can only imagine how difficult it was going through depression. I went through a brief period after my husband's disclosure and then again while working through my steps but it was something I was able to overcome on my own, so I'm sure it was nothing in comparison to what you went through. And that was tough enough. I know now that you make a big difference in people's lives on a daily basis and I'm sure that makes your heart smile.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.