Monday Mindfulness Running Group: Who is on your horizon?

April 26, 2016

Someone once told me that we should all have people on our horizon – people we look up to and admire, who we strive to be like.  For most of my life those I have put on my horizon shared a common characteristic of simply being smart.  But my horizon has recently started to change.

Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not that I value those around me who I’ve arbitrarily labeled as “smart” any less than I did before.  I just realize now that their knowledge alone has a finite economy.  It can enrich people’s lives with interesting facts and important, sometimes even life-changing information but isn’t always the most effective currency for connection and empathy – the thing we, as humans, all crave and need.

The people on my horizon are no longer there because of the knowledge they’ve accumulated but because they’ve learned what it takes to lean into discomfort without shying away.  They’ve learned how to hold someone else’s sadness, even when they’re sitting in their own, and they know that saying something to someone who is struggling is better than saying nothing at all.  They’ve learned that love, as one of my favorite speakers, Dick Foth, so aptly puts it, “is the accurate estimate and adequate supply of another person’s need.”

The people on my horizon are those who know how to cultivate compassion from a place of courage, not fear or guilt, who ask questions that invite answers worth listening to, who are curious before being critical, and whose much appreciated sarcasm is witty and well-timed, not just a guard against vulnerability.

The people on my horizon have grit but aren’t too proud to ask for help.  They’re grounded but haven’t lost their keen sense of longing and adventure.  They’re fully aware of the luck they’ve been given in this life but no less grateful for what they’ve earned.

The people on my horizon sacrifice for causes and people that matter to them but regardless of their impact, never seem to make the arrogant error of taking themselves too seriously.  They recognize that humor is one of the most creative ways for us to come to terms with pain while still allowing us enough hope to look beyond it.

The people on my horizon are broken and have the scars to prove it but still are beautiful.  They have moments of insecurity and at times are unsure of all that they don’t know but still, in every sense of the word, are smart.  Or better yet, they are wise.

Here’s to a week of being mindful about who is on your horizon.

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