You may wonder what a quote from Maya Angelou is doing on a blog about living a life the Oz way. Well, I found this on his facebook page. The research never ends in the quest towards better health. I was going to be Academy Award style cheesy and post a picture with the year that Ms. Angelou was born with the year that she died, but that isn’t what the blog is about. It’s about health, and more specifically, this month, inflammation. Nothing can stress people out more than remembering the way someone made them feel – especially if that feeling was bad. Maya Angelou had to face many problems, far greater than my own. She did face them, and like Deepak Chopra, she is an inspiration, and further proof to me that you can be authentic and engaging and a visionary but at the same time, be quiet in your greatness.
This quote truly resonated with me. First the bad – I’ve never forgotten how people have made me feel over the years. Like many, I have been disappointed, and that has kept me up at night thinking why they acted the way that they did or if there was something within me that caused their reaction. Then, I shrugged it off, realizing that I am perfect : ) No actually, what you realize, over time, is that the feelings will die down and become less important. I’ve realized, that I can’t change what has happened in the past and stressing about it constantly really isn’t going to make it any better. Sometimes, it is healthier to write things off as a life lesson. Remember, as the great lady said herself – “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Maya Angelou had many life lessons to share, and this quote is one. Let’s look at it more positively – I’ll never forget the way that my grandmother made me feel when I was growing up. It’s hard for me to write about her, so this will be brief. She made me feel, that even during my most misunderstood, teenage years, that I had one person in the world who thought I was perfect. Even when I went through my most awkward stage, she still lit up when she saw me (and my sisters and cousins). In her eyes, her grandchildren could do no wrong. People can give you feelings of warmth and security, which relieve stress. I was also reminded about how much a small gesture can mean to someone. I’ve written about random acts of kindness before and I will again. It can mean so much to a friend, family member or stranger if they are having a bad day if someone shows that a bit of humanity. I am reading a book, “The Autobiography of a Face” about a young woman who had Ewing’s Sarcoma (cancer of the jaw). She was disfigured by the disease during her teenage years when everyone from children to adult either made her feel less than, made fun of her or stared at her. Wouldn’t it be just as easy to be inspired by Maya Angelou and remember the next time you see someone less fortunate than you, that even if you don’t know them, you can impact the way that they feel about themselves. Even if someone is a stranger, remember, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Sometimes people have this story buried and they may need someone to listen to it.
Today, I am grateful that at I had the chance to see Maya Angelou speak. She was inspiring, she was uplifting and she was a revelation. As much as she will be missed, she won’t soon be forgotten. Her last tweet was “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.” If there is life after death, I hope that is the voice that she is hearing.