June 25, 2010 at 4:17 am

Below is a poem and original writings by Audrey Hepburn. It was read at her funeral and is great inspiration to keep us all remembering that beauty starts from within first, and the rest will follow.For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others. –Audrey HepburnJune 25, 2010In the past two days I have heard of 6 marriages that are falling apart, 4 young people that are struggling with life, 3 people wrought with pain, 1 person dealing with addiction, 2 people grieving and an entire world watching current events that make us gasp for air. Living through trauma has made my vision sharper, I watch and I listen. I wonder what the rest of these stories are, the part that does not get shared or spoken. I wait for the appearances to go down and the reasoning to come to surface… and I wish I could share with these people the feeling I have now. Not any additional pain, more of a feeling of priority and relevance. A feeling of constantly questioning what is truly important in life, and will it even matter at the end of the day. I have always been a believer that you pick your battles in life. Our mood and disposition are 90% to fault of anything negative that happens to us. We attract what we feel at times in our lives and sometimes that sticks to us like glue…whether we want it to or not. There have been songs, quotes, books, speeches, all directing our attention to looking within when things are not going right around us. How can we invoke change in the world around us without first petitioning for that change within ourselves? Simple. Appearances, fabrications, make-believe. Maybe not being honest with ourselves first? What makes a friendship built on appearances any less corrupt than the dirty politician sitting in Washington? Audrey Hepburn’s words above talk about our quest for outward appearance and beauty….and how inside is where it starts. Dealing with pain in our lives can both cloud our vision and sharpen our senses at the same time. While we may forget our goals and priorities in life, we find ourselves focusing on the microscopic details that others cannot see. My brother told me once it is making mountains out of molehills. We do that when we are stuck in a vacuum, a constant flow of pain that pushes us farther away from the place we consider happiness in our lives. I find myself wanting to help people in the past few years as I have gotten older but never quite sure how to do it – Or if it would be welcome. Life experience is a teacher, and you learn at a rate that could never be done in a classroom. Why can’t we welcome best practices from people…in everyday life, as we do in business? Our outlook changes constantly as we “experience”, touch, feel, hear and see. What we thought was “our stand” one day can change the next. Can we be more honest with ourselves and base our search in life more on what we can do for others instead of what can be done for us? Can we break our barriers and walls and just say that we fucked up when we do…and pat that person on the back when they make mistakes in their life and tell you they did? It’s hard isn’t it. We fight for our rights and draw lines in the sand during our relationships. We never want to be taken advantage of, hurt or told what to do. We grow up independent, ready to conquer the world and step on those that get in our way. So….what are we missing while we are building our guise and lay bricks to fend off the hurt? I can think of missed relationships in my life, friends and family both, because of pride, misunderstanding, and not realizing what should be important in my life. Taking risks in life is not just jumping out of airplanes and starting your own business. It is taking emotional risks as well. I am going to let myself be taken advantage of more. I am going to put away my microscope and tape measure….and watch my walls crumble. Fred would be proud of me.