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“Look, Doris, someday you’re going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn’t work. And when you do, don’t overlook those lovely intangibles. You’ll discover they’re the only things that are worthwhile.” Fred Gailey in Miracle on 34th Street
We live in a materialistic world. It appears that the things we value most are things we can touch, taste, and see. For example, our house and furnishings, car, clothes, jewelry, expensive vacations and the like. But what if those things were not worth as much as things like, kindness, compassion, love, joy, connection, and all the other things that aren’t considered very important because they “don’t put food on the table.”
Having a roof over one’s head and putting food on the table are important for all of us, but what happens if that’s all we provide our families? I don’t remember the context but I was talking with a teacher who said she asked her elementary school students to write about what their families did at dinner time or what their evening activities were like. She was appalled when several of her students wrote that they went home to their rooms did their homework, and played games on their computers, got their dinners and went back up to their rooms and watched their favorite TV show, or continued to play games until bed time. There seemed to be very little family interaction. If that’s the case in a lot of families, no wonder there are so many depressed and angry people in the world.
Human beings are emotional creatures. We need to be nurtured with love, kindness, and understanding. We need to practice conversing with others learning to share our opinions and listen to others share theirs. Relationships are probably the most important thing that sustains us. If we don’t have a support system our lives can be extremely bleak. We can’t really get human connection by watching TV, listening to music, podcasts, or watching YouTube videos. Being in the room with another human being, and even touching them from time to time is vital to our physical health. We only have to look at the news to see the tragedies caused by lack of human connection.
I was at the doctor this week for a physical and she asked me if I had a support system. She wanted to know if I had people I could talk to if something emotional happened to me. I told her I do, though they don’t all live here. And as I was driving home, I remembered a study I read someplace, maybe Psychology Today, that said that we only need a small circle of close friends and or family as our trusted support system to remain healthy. I’m fortunate to have that.
Living on this planet is difficult but having healthy relationships helps us navigate the tough times. How do we create healthy relationships? That’s one of the questions I ask myself all the time. As a teacher, I suggested that we could learn the good and not so good aspects of relationships by analyzing stories and then applying what we’d learned out in the real world. But I’m not sure I ever emphasized that being vulnerable is part of creating great relationships. And yet, I was teaching acting. That’s one of the most vulnerable things a person can do, try to understand and portray a character. It’s risky to be vulnerable. We’re taught not to show our true emotions to others because if we do, we’ll probably be thought of as weak. Maybe that’s why actors are often not respected as much as lawyers, doctors, bankers, CEO’s of big businesses or politicians. An actor’s job is to be vulnerable and dig deep into the emotional lives of the characters they play. I have learned to value their work because I’ve learned so much from what they’ve shown me about myself and my fellow human beings.
I’ve written all this to state that I have been struggling with the fact that what I do in my business is not tangible. Everything I do is about the ideas and emotional experiences shared in stories by the writers and sometimes demonstrated by actors. I use what happens to the characters in the stories I consume to examine my own life. Since I was a little girl, I have felt that part of my purpose was to learn to love myself, so I could pass on that love to others. But for the most part, I’ve not been paid a whole lot of money for that. And I have asked myself, does that matter? It would be nice to make a lot of money, yet, what is success? Increasingly my answer is, I’ll be successful if I can help others improve their relationships. If the people I touch with this blog, my podcast, and online course learn to acknowledge and manage their emotions, become vulnerable and build deep and loving relationships, then I’ve accomplished my goals.
I’ve also realized that striving for the most toys isn’t really success at all. As the title of a famous classic movie states, You Can’t Take it With You. But we can take all the love and connections with us. Those lovely intangibles stay with us forever.
Here’s to sharing some lovely intangibles this weekend with your friends and family.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2023
Saving the World One Story at a Time
Special Coupon Code for May
Analyzing stories gives us CRITICAL DISTANCE from things that have happened to us. That’s why I’m hooked on stories. I get to examine my own life by watching the characters go through their emotional ups and downs. If that sounds like something you’d like to try, you might want to consider taking my course Saving the World One Story at a Time. Special May discount at: https://lnkd.in/gBp4hm4H
I’m so passionate about stories that I created the Story-Power podcast and Patreon communities so I’d have an excuse to talk story with other story lovers. If you’re passionate about stories too, and want to talk about what you’ve learned from your favorites, come join me at patreon.com/StoryPower.
The Space Between Time
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.
Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, after the last few years, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.
Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a podcast where she and her guests discuss their creative endeavors, and/or the stories that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.
If you are a podcaster, or have a message or fantastic product you want to share with the world, I encourage you to check out PodMatch. Use the affiliate link and tell them, Lucinda sent you. Then contact me so we can set up a Story-Power chat.