I tried so hard and gave so much that I lost myself by giving myself away.
So I looked at everything I’ve done,
And I found myself again.
I am love and affection.
I am kind words and handwritten notes and small acts of kindness.
I am loyalty.
I am the refusal to gossip about you, the defense of your innocence, the friend when you need to talk.
I am honesty.
I am the dollar back in extra change, the wallet returned to its rightful owner, the locking of a cabinet that’s left unattended.
I am dependability.
I am the $5 when you forgot your wallet, the volunteer when you’re looking for more help, the willingness to step in when someone can’t do their assignment.
I am service.
I am the bowl of soup when you’re sick, the ride when you need a lift, the extra hand when you’re moving apartments.
I am forgiveness.
I am the hug after I hated you, the second chance when you lost my trust, the friendship even after you hurt me.
I am responsibility.
I am the acceptance of blame when I could have done something different, the solution to a problem that you didn’t ask me to solve, the completion of chores that need to be done around the house.
I am gratitude.
I am the sincere thank you after you worked hard, the card for the little things I notice you do, the flower on your porch to show I appreciate you.
I am patience.
I am the wait until you’re ready to talk, the consistent friend until you feel better, the perseverance when you have been struggling for a long time.
I am faith.
I am the comment in church, the testimony that strengthens yours, the prayer for you when you are struggling.
I am friendliness.
I am the smile when you pass by, the hello when we make eye contact, the help when you’re looking for something.
I am caring concern.
I am the inquiry about your health, the genuine interest in your family’s wellbeing, the persistent nudging for you to get the help you need.
In the end, maybe it is all the little things I have done that make me.
So I find myself by looking at who I have been to everyone else.