I find it is such a gift to meet new people and experience life through their eyes. One such person I have treasured meeting is a beautiful woman in my neighborhood. Holly Tennant is one of the purest souls you will ever meet. She speaks simply. She speaks boldly. She is funny! Any interaction with her always comes with a hug and love seems to pour out of her arms. Holly has Down Syndrome and is lovingly cared for by her saintly mother and family. She has not been able to live the same kind of life as other women her age, but she has lived a beautiful life.
I was volunteering in the youth organization of my church, working specifically with the young women, when Holly joined us one night for an activity. The girls and leaders were fabulous to include Holly in their conversations. Sometimes Holly expressed herself clearly. Other times, it seemed that she spoke her own language and no one was quite sure what she said. The girls lovingly nodded, laughed, and responded as if they were all communicating perfectly. Holly loved the interaction and the attention they were giving her.
Not long after, Holly voluntarily got up in church to speak one day. She talked about her time with the young women and then, addressing the girls, she said something I will never forget. She told them:
“When I am with you, I love my heart.”
The simpleness of her language touched me in such a profound way. I had never heard anyone acknowledge the state of his or her heart merely by being in someone else’s presence, but I knew exactly what she meant. She LOVED how those beautiful girls made her FEEL. The beautiful part was that she could recognize the difference in herself. It was priceless.
It is something to ponder, isn’t it? Do we think about how our interactions with others would make their heart feel? Are we conscious of the words we say and the way we act? Mother Theresa said, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
My hope for the New Year is to spread love wherever I go. I want to be more conscious of how I make other’s feel. A great spiritual leader, Thomas S. Monson, said: “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.” Love is always the best place to start.
I hope you love your heart whenever we are together again.
Best wishes for the New Year!