Impact: The effect or influence of one person, thing or act on another.
We each have the power to impact lives all around us on a daily basis. Many things impacted my decision to write this blog, to write 365 letters this year, to start The Butterfly Project, to extend a challenge as far as I could carry it...to the voices of my friends, and their friends and so on. May the sound echo across the sea and back.
I want to tell you about a few people that have led me to the Butterfly Project:
1) My parents did good, reached out, helped, lifted, strengthened. And very frankly I want to be half as good as they were about loving unconditionally and reaching out to the world. They are always a primary source of inspiration for me.
2) My beautiful "sisters"...the ones I was raised with, but beyond them the ones that have become "sisters" to me through life's course, trials, joys, sorrows. They inspire me daily and have brought me to this place of gratitude that is overflowing so much that I need at least 365 letters to express it all.
3) Specifically four girlies in my life lead me to this project: A huge thank you to D.W., E.P., D.L. and D.P. Thank you ladies for ALWAYS inspiring me, loving me, encouraging me and making me a better person!!!
4) Lastly (today...there are so many...but lastly today) I want to thank Stephanie Nielson. A choice woman whom I do not know personally but whom I have been blessed to briefly meet and even more blessed to be graced with her emotional story of triumph, courage, strength and determination. She is one of my MODERN day heros. She is the kind of hero I desire for my children to aspire to be like. She is a doer of good, a genuine and a kind soul. And though she does not know me well, I THANK HER, I APPLAUD HER. She truly has helped in the transformation of my life.
Last year I was able to go with one of my TFF (True Friends Forever) Ethel to a conference and Stephanie was a last minute speaker. It was an emotionally charged talk as she shared about the struggles that accompanied her plane crash and recovery after being burned on over 80% of her body. As I watched and listened to her, tears streaming down my face...I thought... I should never complain again, ABOUT ANYTHING. But hey, I am human and I am sure I will (more than once even). But I too will be more aware because of her! Thank you to her.
On the event I started on facebook I was writing back and forth to my friend last night and part of the conversation touched me as I wrote her so I wanted to share it:
I would add...We are a force to be reckoned with!!!
This is my time! This is my year! This is my choice. And I will no longer sit on the sidelines WISHING that I could make a difference in the lives of others. I WILL! I WILL!
May a desire grow in all of you to make a difference too, and may that desire spread until we have touched hearts across the whole world.
Changing the world, ONE letter at a time!