Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Doing the hard


It began with the effortless. Have coffee with a young man, Des, who inspired by my TEDxCalgary talk in November, wanted to chat about volunteering and making a difference. Chatting with Des I felt awed by his commitment to volunteering, and to creating opportunities to raise funds for the charities he supports. And, I came away with a great idea for my daughters and I to make a difference together (more on that at another date!)

Meeting with Des I was reminded — giving is receiving

An hour of my time and one green tea latte later and I came away excited about how powerful we are as human beings to create positive change in the world.

The hard didn’t come until later. A conversation with a cohort lead to confirmation of comments someone else is making that cast a negative light on something I was involved with. I was hurt. Angry. Saddened. Confused. And when I’m confused, my victim’s voice gets active… What’s in it for them to attempt to disparage me? Why do they…? Why can’t they…? In my victim’s place I put my focus on ‘them’ and take it off where it belongs — on what I’m doing, thinking, saying.

I had an option. Let those thoughts eat away at my peace of mind. Let myself become embroiled in, ‘how could they’, ‘well I never’, “wait ’til I get even’ thinking, or breathe deeply and consciously focus my thinking on creating what I want more of in this world — peace, harmony, love, joy.

It wasn’t easy. I wanted to lash out. To stamp my feet and scream about the injustice, not to mention wrongness, of what is being said. But, to do that would undermine my integrity. It would create disharmony  in my world, and thus, send out ripples of discord to the world around me.

And I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to create shockwaves of unease. I want to create ripples of kindness.

And so I did the only thing I knew I could to make a difference within me. I meditated and held this  situation in healing light.

What others do is never about me. What I do is about me. And I cannot do my best when I am focused on what other’s are doing. I can only do my best when I focus on me and accept, my best is good enough.

Fighting fire with fire only engulfs me in the flames. Healing torched ground takes tender loving care and so, I opted to cast light on the darkness, to shed love on the pain. I feel better when I put my energy on creating a world of difference within me. A difference that I intend to let ripple out in waves of kindness as I move through my day.

Making a difference isn’t about what I do. It’s about the choices I make to create a world of difference in and around me. And sometimes, that requires my letting go of the easy and doing ‘the hard’.



Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

9 thoughts on “Doing the hard

  1. Elgie,

    It is not whether you cast light on the dark or the light, or near or far, that matters most or will make the most ‘difference’ this year, but HOW MANY you influence.

    Working one-at-a-time is noble and valued, but you have the skills, gifts and power to influence so many . . . as the TEDx talk is showing you already.

    Me question is not whether you can make an incredible difference, but on which issue you want to focus?

    My feeling – strong one – is that you will shine brightest, best and make the largest difference for the world if you choose ONLY one . . .

    pick one:



    social justice



    art therapy

    writing as catharsis


    you get my drift

    don’t use my list

    use yours

    make a long list

    and then,

    pick just ONE

    then focus, and you will never look back

    my two cents



    p.s. : YES, I am making my own list


    • Thanks for joining in the conversation Mark.

      I appreciate your thoughts — and agree — focus is vital. For me, my focus with this blog is not on my ‘big differences’, it’s on being the difference I want to see in the world. Being my best. Being me.

      I have my list, I have my ideas of what I can do — and for me, as I am learning every day here, it always begins inside, within me. It always begins with the little things, the small significances I make everyday in the world — the big stuff is easy, there are lots of causes to support, lots of missions to engage in. My change begins with the little things that are challenging to do everyday. And so, I want to focus here on consciously choosing everyday to take a step, baby steps as Josie calls them, into the light of choosing what kind of different I am in the world. 🙂


      • but … consider, my dear sweet ‘missing the point’ friend – take a look back over your life, tell me how many of the great things were planned out vis-a-vis ones that were the product of chance happenings, meetings, gut feeling or taking a leap (even if a forced leap)

        don’t hold back, leap/fall forward


      • Lol Mark — I do get and respect your point. It’s just not mine 🙂


  2. Excellent thoughts! Your comment “fighting fire with fire only engulfs me in the flames” really hit home. It reminded me of some of the infernos that have resulted from verbal warfare with my sisters. I don’t want to be that person who “fires back” anymore. Your summation said it well… making a difference isn’t about what I do, it’s about the choices I make. Yesterday, because of this blog, I was consciously aware that I was going in the wrong direction with my response to a difficult situation. I know that I don’t want to be the cause of discomfort in other people’s lives, I want to respond from a place of love and understanding. Moving forward in babysteps, but forward none the less! Thank you, Louise, for the journey you are taking us on this year!


  3. Thanks for this post, Louise. I am grappling with a similiar situation where I have been hurt and I threw myself into the “woe is me” thinking, which is compleletely counter productive and lead me to act in a way that I feel embarrassed of now. I need to work on the situation internally and forgive both myself and the other and let healing and calm arise from within. Thanks for reminding me of my own power to be happy 🙂


    • it is easy isn’t it Cassandra to fall into ‘woe is me’ — it’s a pretty familiar place for me 🙂 I am grateful for your comment and insight. And, I am excited to hear what happens next for you! Hugs


  4. Pingback: A Year of Making A Difference

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