What inspires me are true life David-and-Goliath stories. As in, the movie Miracle about the American ice hockey team that beat the Soviets during the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid..

I’m also inspired by stories of people who have made some incredible accomplishments with their one, simple life. I’ve always enjoyed reading biographies. Abraham Lincoln. Steve Jobs. Howard Schulz.



Photo credit: Pixabay

Someone recently reposted an article written by a young blogger entitled, “Hey internet, stop trying to inspire me.” Which I read out of curiosity. “I’m tired of people trying to inspire me to have a better, bigger, happier life,” she wrote.

When I first read the piece, I instantly wanted to disagree. Poor, sad, uninspired girl. But then I read it again. And there were some things I could get on board with.

“Inspiration is cheap. … I want to feel understood. I want to feel heard. I want to feel like my weird and twisty and dark thoughts and fears and feelings are not unique to me.”

I get that. Who doesn’t want to be heard? When we’re going through adversity, we don’t want banalities. Don’t tell me I can make lemonade out of my lemons; I’m not thirsty right now.

“I’d look at these shiny people plastered with positivity and I’d wonder where I went wrong,” our young blogger wrote further. “Why didn’t every day feel like an adventure? Don’t these people have to pay bills and have uncomfortable conversations and wake up sometimes with a headache and an axe to grind? Why was I seemingly the only one so deeply affected by the human experience?”

You’re right, young friend. Life experiences need to be written about honestly so people like us can know we’re not the only ones so deeply affected by our humanity.

One of the reasons the ice hockey movie Miracle speaks to me is because Hubby and I first watched it on a winter evening. Freezing fog had transformed the landscape into beautiful ice sculptures. But the darkness of winter had pervaded my spirit. Because Hubby’s PSA numbers indicated increased cancer cell activity. For two hours, this true-life story made me forget my fears and think that Hubby and I, too, could beat the odds.

Merriam-Webster defines inspire like this: “to make (someone) want to do something; to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create; to cause someone to have (a feeling or emotion).”

“Let me exist. Let me fumble,” wrote our young blogger friend. “Let me find the patch of light in the long tunnel of darkness. Let me figure out some sh** on my own. I say we need less fake inspiration in this world and more realness. … Less preaching. More storytelling. Less advice. More community.”

Yes to more realness and storytelling. And yes to more community.

And yes to inspiration. Because I still have a small book—Snow-bound by John Greenleaf Whittier—gift from Mrs. Wells, my fourth-grade teacher, who invited a handful of students to stay after school once a week for private sessions in creative writing. I didn’t recognize the significance at the time. But I do now. And Mrs. Wells’ inscription in the book inspires me to keep writing. To not give up. To not let the pile of rejection letters say anything to me.

Yes to inspiration.

P.S. If you found this post inspiring (get it?) or helpful, please share, tweet or pin!