What inspires you?
I am asked that question quite often. I've always replied in a number of different ways because it is so difficult to pinpoint just one thing in particular that inspires me. Sometimes it depends on some experience I've had or someone's personal story. Sometimes it is some irony I've observed or lesson I've learned in my day to day living.
As I thought on this, I realized that, in a nutshell, what inspires me is simple -- life. Life is full of extraordinary people with fascinating stories of resilience and triumph. It is full of amazing opportunities, some which are so small that you'd miss them if you didn't have a conscious spirit of gratitude. The opportunity to see, hear, taste, feel and smell. The opportunity to breathe continuous breaths that sustain our existence from one moment to the next. The opportunity to move one foot in front of the other and to cry tears and to speak words and to understand language and to remember what you last said or did. That inspires me.
Life is full of uniquely hidden lessons that lead to powerful revelations that can transform, heal, and elevate lives regardless of circumstance. Recovering addicts are inspired to stay the course and to grab hold of their recovery. Children born into poverty stricken environments are inspired to beat the odds and to achieve success. Abused children are inspired to survive terrible horrors and to overcome the negative effects. Women who have suffered through domestic violence are inspired to seek help and to learn to love themselves beyond their insecurities and shattered self-esteem. The many men and women who have battled cancer and other illnesses are inspired to fight for the life that is filled with those "small opportunities." That inspires me.
Inspiration is plentiful in life, if only you know where to look. Oftentimes, you do not have to look hard or very far. Inspiration can be found all around us, and I believe, within us. We must become inspired and then pass it on by being an inspiration to others.
In a morning inspiration group for men and women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, I heard many of them speak about what inspired them. For some, it was the love of God, and their families who had not given up hope. For others, it was the thought of a better life of sober mind and body. Still, others stated that it was the stories and realities of their peers who had not yet reached that place of readiness to reclaim their lives. I witnessed courage to "uncover" and thus, to recover, among those men and women. I was inspired by that.
I realized, there again, that until we are ready to be naked, vulnerable, exposed, transparent, we will not be ready for the change that is necessary for optimal transformation in either circumstance or mindset.
Take some time today to think about what many things may inspire you. Thinking about what inspires you can put you in the right frame of mind to unlock your personal breakthrough.
Become inspired and be an inspiration.
As always, be encouraged.
Contact columnist LaTonya Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org.