Yesterday I overheard a conversation between an employee and customer while I was at Home Depot picking out flowers for our gardens and getting mulch. It got me thinking about how we can so easily devalue ourselves and at the same time stay stuck in the space we’ve accepted for ourselves.
The customer asked the employee watering the flowers if he could help her to put some heavy mulch bags into her trunk. “I’m sorry I’m just the kid that waters the plants. Let me see if I can find someone else to help you.” (To his credit he at least offered that!)
Are we “Just the (fill in the blank) who does (whatever we do)?” This young man was not only stifling his experience, but he’s also buying into his title. When we allow our titles and responsibilities to constrict our expression of who we are and what we can do we rob ourselves of experiences that might enlighten us further on our spiritual path or give us joy. When we buy into our limitations we also rob the rest of the world of the unique expression of God that we are. Helping someone is a sacred act. The root word for “work” is linked to “worship”. What if we looked at everything we did as an act of worship, a holy expression of ourselves?
I recently attended an academic celebration for high school students. The keynote speaker talked about being “ordinary people”. I thought to myself, Wow – she’s inspiring these kids to be nothing more than others expect them to be. I was pleasantly surprised (and a little ashamed of my judgmental attitude!) when she wrapped up her talk by saying that what looks like an ordinary life to others can actually be an extraordinary life. We don’t all have to be superstars on the cover of grocery store gossip rags to be “extraordinary”.
Out of these two experiences I’ve recommitted to being extraordinary in every ordinary act I accomplish – whether or not anyone else is aware of it. I will also be willing to catch myself in being “just” anything. Join me in being proud of all you do and have a wondermous day!