“Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs…” sang the members of the Five Man Electric Band. How true these words are. Just driving the five miles from my home to my TOPS chapter, I easily spot over 200 signs along the way. I know because I counted them! There were signs indicating where to stop and how fast I could move. Others were encouraging me to buy their product or to vote for them in the election. So many signs…yet when I pass them on a daily basis, I don’t even realize they are there.
As I reflected upon this, I wondered how many of life’s signs I am also missing. I don’t mean the ones along the road, but all the subtleties and nuances of living that we sometimes ignore. When a fellow member enters our meeting, do I see the sparkle in her eyes when she says good evening? Did I recognize that the tone of her voice says, “I am struggling,” even though she tells me she is fine? Was that a nod of acceptance and understanding? Did I miss the gentle touch and smile that says I am so glad we are friends and working on this challenging journey together? How did I not see that she is upset or that he is angry? So many signs… Am I alert enough to see them, or have I become complacent, missing life’s signs the same way I miss the ones along the road to work?
When we go to our meetings this week, let’s open our eyes a bit wider and pay closer attention so we see the signs of our lives…not the ones along the road, but the ones that make life meaningful. Let’s learn to read the body language of others. Recognize the subtlety of the movement in their eyes and the tone in their voices. Understand that when you enter the room and they make it a point to acknowledge you, they are saying something deeper than hello. Interestingly, the signs along the road tend to clutter my view, while the signs of my life help to open my eyes to a richer, more meaningful existence. Meaningful support is much easier and more powerful when we take time to read the signs.
I Care, Barb