Everybody is a Somebody

In a recent daycare I worked in, there was a space on the wall with a quote that read “be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody” and I was so struck by the depth of these words that it lead me on a deep trail of thinking that I’ve not been able to shake since.

In a recent Instagram posting of mine, I wrote about the depth to which I see things with my heart. My head is nearly always “on” and searching for the whale-birds of the world who are similar. Earlier that day, I had just had a conversation with a couple people about the ways in which we follow our paths with logic or heart. This spurred me into thinking more about where I’m headed and why I do what I do on my own personal journey marked by ups and downs like the rest of humanity. 

I think it’s easy to get caught up with the different voices telling me how to live my life and it’s so easy to let the negative shouts in. I’ve finally decided, however, that it’s not worth getting hurt by the voices telling me how I “should” be living my life, because ultimately, I know how to follow my heart. Furthermore, I know that the risk in depositing my heart in an outward manner is far weightier than listening to the “should’s” that I encounter nearly every time I leave my doorstep to live courageously. 

I’m nearly always asking questions of people when I feel comfortable enough to do it. I really love soaking in information. On one of my recent excursions for work, I was again, hit by the mystery of human life and how you cannot ever know the depths of what another has experienced unless you take the time to ask and then really take the information you’re given in. Getting the courage to ask is the first step to gaining better understanding, but I think — for everyone — listening is the hardest part. Listening requires depth of vision, and it also requires the ability to meet someone exactly where they’re at without casting judgment or asking them to change in that moment.

One of my coworkers told me about a heart condition she has acquired through a rare family gene. She is required to have an automatic defibrillator inside her heart in order to keep her blood flow normal. The first time she realized she had the condition, she was inside her last semester of college in a classroom, collapsing after feeling extremely woozy and lightheaded. After the MRI and confirmation of the condition, she had surgery to get the defibrillator inserted. Every ten years, it must be replaced. Coming from a place where she was active and involved in sports, this must have changed her life in a dramatic way I simply cannot fathom. By just looking at her, I wouldn’t know this part of her story, but because I asked and took the time to listen, I was given insight into a deep part of someone’s story that I normally wouldn’t know otherwise. **

Most people nowadays are yearning for someone to ask. 
More are yearning for someone to listen. 

The most impactful stories are the ones where someone has taken the time to share their heart and where they have come from alongside a loving retrieval. There’s a video story that periodically surfaces on my newsfeed that I find so inspiring as a writer. The montage goes through various failures of the person it’s about, and leads into a reveal that the story is actually about JK Rowling, the author of the bestselling novel series, Harry Potter. The common golden thread through it all is that she hasn’t given up and that she hasn’t lost sight of where she’s going. She knows that her story matters even when it feels like it’s not making a sliver of a difference. 

I can often get so lost in the ongoing mindset that what I share doesn’t make a difference, that staying quiet would benefit more than speaking upBut never in my lifetime has staying quiet about what I’m thinking or feeling benefited anyone. Just when I’m feeling like I need to call my words quits, someone will reach out through a message or tell me what I’m sharing is speaking to their hearts and souls like water from a stream and I am again reminded that sharing my words and sharing my story in the broken bits and pieces I do brings Kingdom and minsters to the very thing most people need ministering to — the heart

I’m still in an ongoing process of growing, as we all are as humans, but every time I share my words, speak up, ask a question, and truly listen to another’s story in order to meet them in love, it’s unto the benefit of the Kingdom I believe in. Unbeknownst to me, there are people finding comfort from the ministry of my words and actions whether they speak up about it or not. 

My words, my photos, my actions, my questions, my ears to hear and eyes to see — helping others to feel like a somebody in their own broken pieces by sharing my own… These are all parts of a living testimony, breathing into an active and risky story that matters and leaves an impact. 

Breathing in and exhaling a story that shares courageously and listens just the same speaks to the depths of a human heart in ways I will still never be able to comprehend.

But it’s important that we do it. 

How are you being someone who makes everyone you encounter feel like a somebody today?

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**I was given permission to share this story.

Ashley CookComment