Lessons

Who do you appreciate?

Many times in my life I’ve felt underappreciated.  My self esteem suffered enormously once I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

People say if you don’t value yourself then no one will value you.  But I’m certain that what allowed me to reach a point when I valued myself was other people placing value in me when I couldn’t come up with it on my own.

The truth is I didn’t just tell myself to get better and it happened.  Many people told me I could recover long before I believed it.  I thought I knew myself better than they knew me.  I assumed they may have been right before but they were wrong about me.  And oftentimes I just didn’t listen.  I didn’t appreciate that they took the time to invest in my well being.  I was more concerned with the people who I thought should have been there for me and weren’t than the people who were carrying me along the way.

Now I know who to appreciate –

The people who ask me how I’m doing and actually want to hear the answer.

The people who feed me food for my stomach when I’m hungry and food for my soul when I feel all alone.

The people who reach out for no reason other than to gossip or make me laugh.

I’ve always wanted to be liked the most by the people who thought the least of me and I overlooked the love of the people who were happy to know me.  It took a bit but I’ve finally learned who to truly value and appreciate.  Knowing this makes me feel so much more loved.

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Lessons

Builders Of The New World

June 28 17 2

Recently I had the opportunity to work with the Actors Theatre Workshop on the Builders Of The New World Program.  They provide a theatre program for at risk youth who live in NYC shelters.

I admit I was a bit skeptical in the beginning.  A lot of things were uncertain at the beginning of the program and I didn’t really see how they could pull the whole thing off.  But the people who run the program have been doing it for over twenty years and they never second guessed themselves.  They had complete faith that everything would work out.  And it did.

I attended the graduation ceremony for the children this week and it was marvelous.  I know that the children’s lives are enriched because they were in the program.  But what I didn’t expect was that my life would be enriched as well.

Mr. Scott has just as big an impact on the mentors as he does the children.  He  has complete faith in his methods and his ability to execute them.  He is unapologetic and confident in himself without being arrogant.  And he genuinely loves and cares for people.

The graduation ceremony was wonderful for the children but I also felt like I graduated.

I’ve been told many times that I can do anything I set my mind to.  When Mr. Scott said it, after working with the children through their performance, I finally believed it.