To Empty All Of Yourself | 8.29.21

The Sunday Edition

I’m the left half of that silhouette photo above, the short hair half, as you well know. The other half you also know, and together we’re many things, wearing many hats. One of my favorites, is that of children’s book authors. For those who do not know, Sarah and I wrote a book called North Pole Ninjas together, a story about bringing kindness back to the holidays, about bringing kindness back to life in general. In it, we give missions on this kindness, ways that kids and their families can actively practice kindness, implementing it into their holiday traditions, replacing some that focus more on more selfish and self-centered activities. Point is, we wanted everyone to experience a truth that we’d stumbled into over the years: It’s more fun to give.

Some things become clichè the more we hear them said, some things get repeated so much they begin to lose meaning, begin to shift into a shell of what they once were. Kindness is not one of these things, and in my experience, it’s one of the very few things on this earth that are absolute guarantees on return. The more we give, the more we empty ourselves out for someone else, oddly, the more we’re filled up in return. The strangest part about this transaction is this: Even KNOWING that it’s true, doesn’t diminish the return. We give, we get. Simple as.

Recently, my lovely bride had to undergo some emergency ear surgery, her 4th or 5th random surgery for unforeseen things in as many years, and I know she was infinitely discouraged having to go through this once more. I also know, she felt extremely guilty that once more, I was having to nurse her back to health and be her personal assistant for everything from washing her hair to running her errands to bandaging her ear daily. She is one who does not like to have things done for her, who feels guilt for being what she perceives as even being the slightest burden, and so once more this was a huge source of angst for her. What she missed, what she lost sight of during her healing and recovery was the fact that I absolutely loved being able to care for her, being able to give to her what she always gives to everyone else. I loved the way it made me feel at the end of each day to know I’d done all I possibly could to make her feel better, to put her at ease, to take any and all stress off her shoulders. This is what it is to give of yourself to fill someone else up, this is what it means to empty out for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do, for no other motivation but kindness.

I know I harp on this often, I recognize that this is a theme revisited time and again, but I just cannot stop thinking that the more people that are let in on this little secret, the more people reminded of the truth they already knew, the happier they’d be. I want everyone, even if they already know this, to have a reminder about just how fantastic it truly is, how unbelievably stuffed to the gills we become when we just give and give and love and love and never slow our pouring. We live in a censored society, one that prizes aloofness and the endless pursuit of cool, and I think if we just set all that shit down for awhile, we’d all be a lot better off.

I probably give too much advice on this here Signal Fire, and if so I apologize. I think I just have been so lucky to stumble into little kernels of truth that have brought me a hell of a lot of joy in my life, and I am desperate for others to feel it, to hold it in their hands, to call it truth of their own. I hope I do not cross your boundaries, I hope I don’t come off as anything other than really f’ing excited to see you all find joy. I hope you understand the depth of care I have for you all.

At any rate, it’s more fun to give. I know you know, but if you needed a reminder, this can be it.

It’s more fun to give,

to empty all of yourself

for somebody else.

Haiku on Life by Tyler Knott Gregson

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