We live in a stunning world. Growing up on a farm in the Midwest, I have experienced the full spectrum of beauty the great outdoors has to offer (yes, when I say beauty, I am referring to the miles and miles of flat land with a minimal number of trees). While I no longer live on a farm, I have found many escapes along various bike paths to enjoy the physical beauty surrounding us. While an escape to a physically beautiful place is necessary on occasion, I have found many people within my life as invigorating as a nature walk filled with breathtaking scenery.
I have known for twenty-two years the people in my life are special, but it has taken some time to find (a few of) the appropriate words to express my wonder. While continuing my education over the last for years, I have had help, a ton of help. Ranging from the people who have provided me with mentorship and education to the people who have supported me emotionally, I have been constantly surrounded by people who help me to become the best version of myself.
The last three summers I have lived with two different beautiful and generous families. As an unpaid intern (I was paid in experience) I needed help, lots of help. At first, I worried how I would ever show my gratitude to these families for their generosity and support, but I slowly realized how difficult this task was going to be. I first felt I needed to “repay” these families for the inconveniences, but I realized the currency my internship paid in would not be covering any expenses. I slowly began to realize; many forms of generosity are not “repayable” and that is what makes the experience so beautiful, and often difficult.
No matter our age, I think this is something we all struggle to do. We all can use help (guidance, support, and love) but we feel like we must “repay” others for their kindness. Many of these forms of help are priceless and treating them as such is difficult. How do you pay someone back for being a shoulder to cry on when you thought you were falling to pieces? How do you pay a mentor back for giving you wisdom you never knew you needed? How do you pay a family back for offering you their home and love that comes with it? The list goes on. And the answer is, you can’t. However, what you can do is graciously accept the support you are being given and make the most of the opportunity in front of you.
- Accept generosity with an open heart.
A sincere “thank you” can mean so much to someone. While the hardest “thank you” is the one you know you cannot repay, say it and accept the love. Show your appreciating in as many ways as you can imagine. Share this same generous spirit with the people in your life and do not be afraid to go out of your comfort-zone and share your generosity with others in need.
- Stop. Learning.
Use every moment you are given to learn something. Whether you are listening or observing, the help and support you are receiving is not by accident so pay attention. You can learn anything when you are confident, what you learn when you are vulnerable is what you probably needed to know a long time ago but were too scared to think about.
- Stop and enjoy the view.
If you have been blessed with beautiful people, ENJOY THEM. Appreciate all they do for you and tell them how lucky you are to have them. Stay sincere and humble but enjoy every bit of the beauty people share with you.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. You beautiful people know who you are and I am forever thankful.
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” -John Bunyan