"Life's most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?" Martin Luther King, Jr.
When ever I find myself obsessing over the shiny things that steal my ego's attention like the 3 Ws: Worth (Am I worthy?), Wisdom (Am I smart enough?) and Weight (Do I weigh too much?), I know that I am in desperate need of some fresh air. Essentially I need to get outside-- of myself, that is.
Lately I've been stressing over my Team in Training fundraiser. I committed to raise a minimum of $1500 for blood-cancer cures while training to run a half-marathon. Initially I got on board to give back. As a leukemia survivor I thought I had a story that might inspire. As a person who had recently gone through some tough emotional times, I wanted to get outside of myself and put my energies to a good cause. What a great plan! Unfortunately I forgot to exclude my ego from this event and it barged it's way up to the driver's seat. Quite quickly I took my eye off the target of helping others and put it back on myself. (My ego is a master strategist!). I worried if I would raise the funds (maybe people don't like me enough to donate?). I scorned myself for choosing this cause (why aren't I raising money for diabetes cures?). I almost convinced myself to quit. *Sigh* No longer was it about helping others. If getting outside of myself was my original intention, it was Opposite Day in my world: I jumped inside myself, fed my fears and made it all about me, me, ME!
Today I got outside of myself and breathed the fresh air of serenity. I participated in a fitness fundraiser for a friend's husband who is struggling with a rare, quite serious type of lymphoma. Oh sure, my ego came along and cursed me for "not being fit enough" (SHUT UP, EGO!), but as the gush of giving permeated my being, clarity came aboard and pushed that voice aside. I witnessed the love and the support gleefully given to a person in need. I put a face with the reason I am running for TNT-- I am running for Alfred (my friend's husband)! I will be shameless in my appeals for donations, and be the cheerleader to my training team that I initially signed up to be. Together we will make a difference!!! And while I know it's not supposed to be about me, doing something for someone else-- getting outside of myself-- just feels so dang good!
“Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.” Buddha