“We teach best what we most need to learn”

-Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

And just like that, I am 16 again. I remember reading, “A Bridge Across Forever,” when I was in high school but many will recognize the name Richard Bach from his most popular book, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.” I still remember how I felt when I read “Bridge” – it’s hard to describe but I think it was something along the lines of refusing to believe in a life that didn’t involve soulmates and true love. I’ve grown since then and my definitions of true love have changed. I tried to read “Bridge” recently as an adult and it didn’t speak to me the same way. I don’t consider that a loss. I think it just means I’ve grown up.

None of that is what I’m here for today. First, I’m here to say I’m sorry I let you down the past couple of weeks, my Internet friends. I have been busy. And yeah, I know. Saying, “I don’t have time” is like saying it’s not a priority and I guess that is the truth. I have had other priorities of late. More on that later.

But here I am. And I’m here to say, that this quote by Mr. Bach, well, unlike some of the grander sentiments in his other novels, this one still speaks to me. All.the.time.

I’d like to think that it’s simply my altruistic nature that leads me to the doorstep of a misguided soul or even one that is just looking for answers like, how often do you feed your banana pepper plant? It’d be nice if the reason I want to help people is simply for helping’s sake but, in truth, it is because I am still learning. And when do you learn the most? Through teaching. Maybe my story is still being written but I can’t wait until the finale to share what I’ve learned. So, here I am – in a world where there is not only space but a need. I know there’s a need because I’ve heard people say thank you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Lindsey. Thank you for sharing the hard lessons you’ve learned. Here is what I am going through. Can you help? Do you identify? What should I do?

I am so grateful for those opportunities because, selfishly, when I hear myself give suggestions or offer tools that have worked for me, I can feel myself growing, centering, and righting my own ship. It is when we are helping others that we tap into our true potential as a soul sharing this planet. What better reminder of how we should live our own lives than when we are moving someone else to a greater purpose? Because you can’t just tell someone how to find meaning in their own life while wallowing around in yours waiting for something to happen.

So here we are – back at the fundamental message that I was broadsided with recently. You get back what you put out in the world. It is just that simple. Feeling low? Lift someone up. Jobless? Help someone get a job. Lacking self-esteem? Tell someone they’re beautiful. It works. It does. Trust me.

If you are lucky enough to be in a position to make someone’s life better (and we all are, really), don’t forget to take a minute to learn from your own teachings. Live by love and lead by example. Don’t just say it – be it!

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