When I ‘stopped’ Giving, Life did too

Hello there ūüôā¬†Joy here again.

I  miss employing my time to write to you and sharing with you snippets of my daily lessons since my new job and my re-settlement home, in Lebanon.

It’s been busy on my end, in all good and bad ways but tonight, 3 specific sharings from 3 special readers and¬†life-changers (as i call every one of ‘my people’),¬†got to me in ways i cannot possibly explain.

They are: C.E, J.Y, and E.H.; 27, 36, 29 years old respectively.

I¬†decided i cannot delay my next¬†Blog Post#2 anymore even if it meant going sleepless for a few days now and falling a little behind in my professional tasks. You’ll make it all worth, of that i am certain through the time you spend reading my posts and/or your comments below.¬†

Publishing this post  climaxed simultaneously with my wish to have this post ready, so that a dear friend traveling by the early morning hours has something he loves to read, whilst waiting on the flight back to his (dreaded:p) job. 

At this point in time, Dec.2015 – Jan.4, 2016, I¬†can confidently say, I am healthy and warm at heart, unlike my last Christmas and NYE, spent ‘broken’ in¬†a hospital abroad (more on this in Blog Post#1). Nonetheless, I still conclude, yet again, the exact same¬†life lesson learned following one of¬†the¬†most¬†dramatic incidents I survived exactly 1¬†year ago:

You, ‘others’ i.e. my people, family, friends, and now audience¬†mold¬†me into¬†the amazing person i am becoming, as testified by individuals¬†in my networks these past 2 months : Nov. & Dec. 2015 (I’ll show you, just hang in there for a minute).

You, and only you,¬†are the part of my life that makes¬†me feel alive, bold, driven, confident,¬†full of a sense of purpose, and a love for preserving a “me”-time that I exploit by pouring my heart out here to you, no matter the pressure, overtime hours, or confusion within¬†my new career and new life back home.

How do i know that?FullSizeRender (3).jpg

Your wishes, live, electronic, or via the loveliest hand-made ca
rds posted to my address this Christmas and New Year 2015 from across the globe constituted my universe for 2016.

You have been so generous to me, and now you offered me a new page, a new year 2016 that has no failures, heartbreaks, pain, or mistakes yet. I now get to try again; you do too. It’s a fresh chance to write our stories and upcoming life events. It feels amazing to have been blessed like that!

Digging into Comments received from you since Oct.31, 2015 to-date tonight, I finally summoned the courage to fix-up my Blog Post#2. Two whole months have passed without me checking on the life of my own blog and the life of each one of you, my people, here on our platform.

I sincerely apologize; I have let day-to-day burdens, trivial activities¬†deviate my attention from my true calling: you lot and my own students. I have also failed to keep the promise I¬†made: to overcome my fear of leaving the¬†comfort zone and going public without striving for ‘perfection’ in my sharing-s.

Truth is, your personal, touching stories shared with me via my social media networks have overwhelmed me, entirely so, following my Blog Post#1 and my growing Good Day Emails habit/chain. They make me feel ever-more accountable and responsible to be here for you more than ever before, to share every bit of the life lessons/reflections I encounter daily post-my 2014 accident.

How can i not lead my life with the broadest smile, optimism, enthusiasm, and how can i not¬†overcome every one of those’rainy’¬†¬†days that corner each of us, when i keep being empowered by more and more messages¬†that go like this:

Your messages every day make me feel like somehow, there’s someone out there who wishes me – and the people you care for – all the best for each and every day.. It’s a beautiful gesture […]¬†you’ve shown me how much it can make a difference to see that someone out there cares, that there’s someone who thinks of you.. Thank you for being your beautiful self[…]

[…]in the midst of trying to cope […], I starting reading your emails and your blog.. And in some way, it changed a lot.. I started writing down little things that made me happy.

Those were sent to me by my loveliest Miss C.E. She’s my powerhouse!

This is so beautiful Ms. Joy! I am so proud of you, beyond any words. I hope you know you are courageous and brave and unique, and I hope you never let anyone tell you different things.[…]¬†Please share other stories with me when they go live[…]”

Words shared by a truly beautiful person, inside out, Miss E.G., definitely a Keeper that one!

[…]this is one of the most beautiful readings I have read. […]all the people you touch, are unable to express, what you have done for them nor the gratitude they have for you. No matter how many thank yous and wonderful notes you get, they will never truly tell you of the difference you are making, nor make you feel appreciated for the great lengths that are needed, to be the person you are.[…]So please, never stop.

The above is the very first¬†Comment on my Blog!! ¬†I¬†doubt i’ll ever forget how reading that one “felt” from my new acquaintance, thus friend, M.

Last but not least, a person ever more close to my heart, E., visited Lebanon for the holidays this Christmas, and throughout, all he said were words of encouragement¬†to boost MY¬†¬†confidence and encourage ME¬†¬†to step on my fears,¬†“why have you not blogged since your first post? It’s the perfect time, end of the year, resolutions, reflections..the people need you;¬†¬†it’ll be¬†perfect, just go for it, be you!!

Why would he and all others give me their time and trust,(and this applies to each one of us),¬†while I am supposedly the one who’s trying to add a little ray of sunshine to their life..? Well, that is the obvious bit i tell you:

evearnold489370.jpgYou get from life whatever you give into it –

When you give without expecting a return, you receive ten-folds of whatever you give in (from Blog Post#1)

[…]u make my mornings :)[…]“, a Miss M.A. shared a week ago.

So, do you¬†see all the above-received? Do¬†you believe me now if I emphasize yet again:¬†we only truly grow through “others”?

I am horrified though¬†that my second, third, fourth…twentieth blog post may¬†not be ‘as good as’ my first or up to¬†your expectations; so, i just refrained from posting them to-date. I¬†saved their ¬†drafts in a folder on my desktop since Nov.6, 2015. They just sat there, while I felt miserable for not sharing them, to become live stories or shared lessons among us.¬†

My November 2015: the worm phase

Yet, I am not ashamed of admitting I have hesitated, doubted, let myself go slack, slide through life for a while. That was my November 2015 month; I was what my Mum calls, a “worm” – truly, she does call me that when i go through that odd phase .

It’s when¬†I let myself be an observer, and in that position, I stopped giving: in my prayer and faith, in my thoughts, in my relationship with my parents, siblings,¬†in my sacred¬†cross-border friendships too.Yes,¬†i allowed myself to feel short on time, to need more hours in the day, to justify me not ¬†taking the time to write my blog, my happy-diary, or write¬†some of my closest friends, and I justified myself¬†with the most ridiculous alibis…

In a word, I let myself be selfish and was fully aware of it. 

Thus, my¬†“worm lesson”;¬†Everything went wrong in my life, and i cannot wait to share my evidence.

It is so intertwined,seriously, it¬†is mad to believe how the events occurred one after the other like dominoes, but i only just realized they were all connected to ‘Me¬†going all commando on selfishness and introversion’:

November 6, 2015: Lesson 1

You will be criticized; however, what you are criticized for will become your: #1 Strength and #1 reason for others to Respect you

It is never ever easy to digest feedback about your performance, whether in the workplace or in society at large. On Nov.6, I had a whirlwind of mixed emotions.

a) Professionally:

In my Blog Post #1, I hinted towards a new job offer I’ve taken on; I am now a full-time university Instructor and Senior Collaborative Provision Officer for student affairs, development, and guidance in the British School of Business, offering a franchised British degree for : Undergraduate, MBA, and MSc. Events Programmes.

That is, all aspects of my teaching and admin tasks within my work can only be completed only in coordination with 1 –¬†2 partner universities in the UK. Personally, my greatest challenge to-date is the instructing bit, as it is my first experience ever in this field.¬†I have started out now without prior or proper induction, mentoring, shadowing, coaching, or exposure, and I already have one lesson well-learned the hard way:

Even though I (like you may) have taken multiple workshops and read fascinating books that albeit taught us how to be a good sport or a diplomat vis-à-vis criticism, it was just impossible to apply all theories or practices to the words I heard that day:

I had only delivered a few sessions¬†of one of my Finance courses, when the ¬†Academic¬†Committee called upon me to evaluate my ‘delivery and performance’.¬†Honestly, at first I was caught off-guard. I did not expect any feedback that soon on my course delivery. Yet, there i sat, when i learned about the¬†‚Äėcommercial‚Äô¬†aspect of¬†‘education’:

the client is always right.Only in my case, it’s the student.

I was addressed politely, but very firmly. I truly listened closely to what the Committee had to say; trust me on that one, I felt horrible, my blood was racing, and I could hear my heart beat at a¬†‘zingillion’¬†second. It felt it was about to pop out of my chest.

Partly, I was scared, and for a few minutes, I became defensive; yet, I was also eager to know more because I knew the only way to learn how to teach and to find my own way of sharing my knowledge/character was through others. It’s just the way  I am wired, and I genuinely believe we are all alike in this sense.

Truth 1 :

My day could not have been a worse one. I was being judged, brutally so, and i partly do not blame them because being an Educator consists not of selling yourself or how good you are, but selling how good of a person, a motivational speaker,an understanding, but also firm miracle-maker you are to help your own students sell themselves the right way.

b) Socially or personally:

November 20, 2015:

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but could u please remove me from your daily mailing list.”¬†

I don‚Äôt think sending this kind of messages will help you […]¬†Please stop sending them to me.”

Yes, believe it or not, these are real comments I¬†received from some people who were once in my genuine¬†Daily Good Day Emails aimed at ‘brightening’ the day of a person.¬†Yet, they are people I¬†respect the most and ones i am ever more grateful for, truly. They were mainly the reason why I learned that I¬†am not everyone’s cup of tea and I¬†should not assume that I¬†am, ever. My ways and my outlook to life may be invasive or irritating to some; I am only human and I can only be myself.

Truth 2:

These comments opened my eyes in ways perhaps no one else would dare, and i respect them for having voiced their opinions. Today,¬†I’m getting better at self-auditing my works and strategies and re-evaluating different ways of getting my message through the ways i intend it for my people. ¬†I cannot deny it though: I¬†was indeed irritated. Deep down, I¬†felt sad to have sensed a certain¬†harshness in those comments.

But with every one of those people who come to correct you, or correct something in you, there is a lesson to learn.

All in all, worm November was a nightmare, but i only understood why when Busy-bee December 2015 came along, and when my attitude, actions, and outlook to everything changed. Why did they change?

Easy; December festivities, sales, decorations, good spirits, BUT ALSO, it is the anniversary of my accident-only this year, i was so warm and fuzzy inside, surrounded by beautiful people.

Hence, I assure you that I too, have my fears, my hesitations, my insecurities, weirdness, and complicated bits within me. Nonetheless, to be fair and kind to myself as well -another life motto РI have not been entirely disengaged, if i dig a little deeper beyond my worm-phase November onto Busy-bee December. 

Please stay posted to enjoy my next Blog Post #3, entitled: 

When I ‘started’ Giving, Life did too,¬†a sequel to this one that highlights the contrast I experienced when I ‘stopped’ giving v/s when I hung onto my genuine love to give/share and grow through others.

… …

Teasers on Blog Post #3:

Busy-bee December: when I gave into life, life offered a bountiful harvest

I think i am pretty sure Your stories and sharings¬†have expanded my Good Day Chain, gradually but steadily¬†because i have now doubled ‘my others’, i.e. all of you who make me who i am today and who help me grow out of comfort zone, literally and metaphorically in this life.

Amidst the intimidating responsibility Your stories and engagement thrust upon me, you helped me also discern a unique opportunity to expand my Good Day Emails to touch a broader circle of people too. Blog Post #3 will tell you how it went: coming very soon!

Stay tuned you beautiful people.

Truly yours,

Joy

Jan.5, 2016.

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