"Don't just grow where you're planted, bloom."
I had coffee with my friend Mariah a few months ago and I was blown away by her genuine interest in people. Mariah is the type of person that just loves with an open heart. Every single time I'm with her she makes me feel safe.
Do you have a friend like that? I really hope you do. Someone who you sit down with and look into their eyes and you feel not only accepted but loved for being exactly who you are. That's what being around Mariah is like.
Mariah is the type of human that speaks life into the people and the situations she encounters. She walks with a humility that is inspiring and a grace that impacts, she's one of a kind. She's the type of person that when she's around it's easy to take her for granted because she's consistent and faithful and so easy going but when she's gone, the absence is immediately felt.
When I got Give the grave only bones, tattooed on my arm the idea was that I wanted to live a life that was so rich and full that I'd die with nothing left. I wanted to live a life that was big and bold and seeping with authenticity and joy, a life void of regrets.
Time with Mariah helped me to see how selfish that aspiration is.
I think that when Mariah dies she'll have lived her life to the fullest not because she aimed to live big and grasp every opportunity for herself but rather because she lived to serve.
I think that maybe we've been doing this 'live big,' and 'have no regrets' thing all wrong. I think when we focus on OUR gain, on how OUR lives can be as rich as possible, how only WE can leave a legacy that it narrows our scope.
If I could take a page from Mariah's book I think it would start with the importance of focusing outward instead of inward. How it's imperative to desire to do more for others than to have others do for you and the blessing that comes from giving love instead of just seeking it.
So now, moving forward, Give the grave only bones will mean to live life with an open hand. A life that is always aiming to meet the needs of others, a life that serves, a life that loves big and does so without holding back.
I miss Mariah a lot. I miss her because her ability to give you her undivided attention and make you feel like the most important person in the room is rare but maybe it doesn't have to be. It shouldn't be. So here's to coffee dates with people that call you to a higher standard simply by loving you well and living their truth. Here's to morning's with Mariah.