A couple years back, I went to China with my daughter. It was a fascinating experience because we’d never been to Asia before. And when we were there, because Sienna and I are both six foot one, we stood out like we were celebrities, because we're so tall, and very fair and blonde. We were asked to be in hundreds and hundreds of photos and videos. People were hugging us and bowing to us. It was powerful. And it was odd, because here in America, we're just two females like so many others.
I remember the day before we were leaving, and our top travel guide asked me,
“Do you know what they're going to say about you when they go back home to their little village?” I said, “No.”
She shared they're going to share your photos and the videos, and they're going to say,
“This is my new American friend.”
It was just like a knife stabbed right into my heart.
I wasn't taking home their photos, I wasn’t taking home anything about them. I hadn’t made them important to me.
I think I'm a really compassionate person, I think I'm a kind person, but I realized in that moment, that they hadn't impacted me.
I understand that we had because we were bizarre giant anomalies for them. But the fact that I was in a foreign country with people I would never see again, and I didn't really take the time to recognize them, stung.
What struck me is that the love that I have in my heart got held back. If someone approached me, I'd smile and happily be in their photos, but I wasn't reaching out toward them. It was like I was holding Jesus back within my skin.
I asked Sienna if she wanted to change this. Being the beautiful soul that she is, she did. So, we decided to go out the next day and be the ones to share love and connection. We skipped out on our tour and spent time connecting with smiles and bows with people who couldn't speak any English. And we knew nothing in Chinese.
This makes me wonder, where do you have places and spaces where you don't extend your love? Where do you hold yourself back within your skin? I know we all have them. It took for me to have someone else point out to me that I wasn't making friends with people who believed they were with me. Ugh.
Today, will you reach out to someone and offer kindness first?
Who will it be?
I send you open arms and an open heart,