Our spaceship is soon landing back on earth and I can't help feeling like an alien. It's been over a year since we have been home in New York City and so much has changed. Mostly, I have changed. With these new changes come wonderful things yet they also bring me a struggle of how to reconnect with those I was once tethered to in my daily life.
We've barely had any face-to-face human contact with our friends on this road trip. Early on we met up with friends in Texas and California but that was months ago. By coincidence, we ended up in Santa Fe with another family we know from NYC. What started as joyous feelings and the exciting creation of many plans to hike, share a holiday, and get our girls together, who have become good friends, oddly turned into a situation full of drama, broken plans, and disappointment. My daughter who is truly the sweetest, kindest, and most thoughtful ten-year-old you will ever meet, was forced to face so much disappointment in the wake of her friend's mother who just couldn't keep the plans we made for the girls to spend time together. This morning they had plans to meet, which were once again broken, and my daughter's awareness of how something so simple can turn into something so complicated has affected her too much. Last night she waited so patiently for her friend's mother to confirm their playdate today, as promised. She went to bed unsettled for the second night in a row. This morning she woke up at 4:00 am hoping to receive a text from me that their plan to see each other is actually on. But it isn't.
So, that's the quick background. The deeper, more purposeful meaning I take from all this is the realization that while we are all human beings with the best intentions if our resulting impact is negative, what good do our positive intentions mean? We can't just walk around claiming we have good intentions while not practicing the awareness of converting them into good actions. In this case, while the mom I am referring to had the best intentions to connect our daughters, who both mutually wanted more than anything to spend time together, her delivery was poor. She put my ten-year-old on a roller coaster ride of three broken plans in four days. As a ten-year-old should be in this situation, my daughter was confused and couldn't make sense of why the plans could not be fulfilled. As usual, there were many discussions around not taking things personally and the importance of practicing awareness so that we don't make others feel hurt or upset. But deep down inside, I felt sad that a ten-year-old needs to learn these lessons so soon. She just wanted a play date that was promised to her. She craved connection with a friend after being relationship starved for the past eight months on the road. Now, in no way do I think this mother is a horrible person. Nor do I think that she is aware of how deeply her lack of ability to carry out her commitment impacted my daughter, and ultimately my family as we all had to talk her through this situation. Instead, this is my point, the message I am trying to get across: while we lay on one side of a situation we often have no window into how our actions are unfolding on just the other side of the door. While we may think something is no big deal, someone on the other side is experiencing the complete opposite. The only possible way to line up our intentions with our actions is to also include awareness; we must ask ourselves how does this affects that. Without awareness, we blindly convince ourselves that we have good intentions and that we have no responsibility for their actual outcome. If our intentions are good, then we are good, right? Wrong. This lesson has taught me, and I am so eager to share it with you too, that it is crucial that we consciously ensure that our intentions line up with the actual impact they make. We really must take responsibility for our actions and not justify our choices, even when they hurt others.
I don't want to feel like an alien. I want to experience a completely natural flow with my fellow humans. However, I refuse to dumb down my awareness of how my words and actions affect others. I refuse to be less sensitive because we already have too many hardened people walking around hurt and let down. I refuse to have my daughter think even for one second that any of this had anything to do with her. I refuse to believe that anyone reading this wouldn't take a moment to truly reflect on whether our intentions line up with our actions because I do believe we all have the best intentions and therefore want the most positive outcomes. I wholeheartedly believe that there will be at least one dozen people who walk away from this post, asking themselves regularly, "do my intentions line up with my impact?" and that those people will positively affect dozens of others. So, my question to you is will you be one of those dozens whose intention lines up with their actions? It's never too late to recalibrate.
This journey has taken me to such faraway places both physically and spiritually yet I feel closer to home than ever. Suddenly leaving home, one year ago, does continue to feel otherworldly. At the same time, I feel more grounded than ever. I intend to balance these opposing experiences hoping that the impact will be one where I can inspire others to think more deeply about their purpose, their fears, their impact. Really, I am taking you along my journey as I try to figure out all these things myself. I am in no way an expert in human behavior but I do want to expertly be the best human I can be. Thank you for joining me on this journey to work through how we can be the best versions of ourselves, on planet earth.