I get asked about my bracelets all the time. In fact, I get asked about them so much I wrote a whole post about them here. For years I’ve worn my dainty gold bracelets with inspirational sayings and encouraging one-liners to motivate me in my career. I liked to look down at my wrist and be reminded of my goals. Yes, I’d think whenever I saw my bracelets, that’s what I’m all about. I’ve had these bracelets for years fueling my fire and propelling me along. My biggest motivation was to be successful and I lived my life to support that goal.
But recently I started to question all the hustle. I started to question whether success was a healthy focus for my life, and I realized something that shocked me. All that running, chasing, and achieving I was trying to do? It was a selfish way to live. It was so utterly selfish because all my goals and dreams were all about me. Oh sure, I could find a million ways to excuse it. A well-paying job means that I can donate more to charity. Owning my own company means I get to make my hours so I should (technically) be spending more time with my kids. A bigger platform means that I could put more positivity into the world. But at the end of the day, what was I actually doing to make life better in my community and for the people around me? Not nearly enough.
In the midst of all of this soul searching my pastor gave a sermon about “Showing Up”. He asked how many of us are hiding away and doing our own thing because taking care of others, and showing up in their lives feels too hard? It so resonated with me. I do that, I thought. I send money instead of volunteer. I send a text message instead of going in person to visit. I hide out in the safety of my beautiful home with my healthy children and never get my hands dirty. In fact, I think I’ve spent a good majority of my life striving for comfort instead of offering comfort to those who need it most. And in the midst of all of that, I’m running through life with my achievements circling my wrist as a reminder of what I value most. Did I really want to teach my children that a list of successes is the most valuable legacy to leave behind? I absolutely did not.
And so I made a change. So many changes. In fact, I removed most of my old bracelets. The only two with inscriptions now are Where My Trust is Without Borders from one of my favorite songs and the other, I had custom made. It says, Show Up. It’s a reminder of the way I want to live my life. I want to be there for others. I want to devote just as much time to their care as I do to my own. I want to be involved in my community. I want to spend time caring for the poor, the oppressed, the widows, the orphans. Love your neighbor is the tenet of my faith and somewhere along the way through this hectic life, I forgot that. My Show Up bracelet is what inspired our first ever #ChicShowsUp campaign which, thanks to your help, means we’ll be sending boxes and boxes of love to the Syrian refugees stranded in Greece. My Show Up bracelet means that the Hollis family now volunteers once a month cooking dinner for the homeless center in our community. Yes, all five us, including the three year old. Some people might question the wisdom of exposing our children to the sadness of homelessness but I would rather they learn compassion and commitment to people from every walk of life than to continue hiding away in privilege. My Show Up bracelet means that I’m a better friend, daughter, wife, mother and boss. It reminds me of the kind of person I want to be– which incidentally, is so much easier and more peacefully achieved than chasing after business success.
I know that Show Up will mean a lot of different things to each different person who reads this post, but I encourage you to ask yourself what it might mean to you specifically. What are the areas in your life you need to show up in? Who are the people who would be so blessed by your care and attention? Every single day is full of opportunities to show up for others, I promise, it’s one of the best things you’ll ever do for yourself. xo, Rachel