| Heroes Project

Let Me Ease Your Burden

Daily on Facebook, I post a live feed, where I play piano by ear. My goal is to play from the soul. My mission, though – is to make people feel joyous, and thus share their spark with others. That is so important to me!

At the end of every live feed, I make a statement before I play my closing song, which is called, ‘Peace, I leave.’ I speak openly to the audience, saying the following: ‘Energy is highly transferable. It takes nothing away from those who share their spark with others. It has a ricochet effect and will come back to you tenfold, but it also has a ripple effect – and will affect *many* people.

But… There are many ‘Robin Williams’ of the world. These are the people who appear, on the surface, to be doing very well. They are the smiling, happy people. They are typically the ones always taking care of others. They are empaths, and people are drawn to them like moths to flames. But they are not putting on their own oxygen mask first, before helping others. And they are suffocating. These are the ones we need to look out for.”

And herein sometimes lies a special kind of person – a First Responder. Not all First Responders are as described above, but many hold a great deal of feeling and emotion within. They have a multitude of external/internal stressors that are bound to catch up with them and affect how they feel; it can have a significant impact on them.

Mental health still has such a stigma attached to it. Yet – Every person alive would greatly benefit from having a shoulder to lean on; to have somebody to talk to. Everybody wants to be seen for who they are; to feel accepted, and to feel appreciated.

My mission on my live piano feeds is similar to my mission at work where I am employed at Starbucks, as a barista. I love trying to make our customers feel happy, to have a better day, and to know someone cares for them. But the ones that I really enjoy reaching out to and connecting with, are the First Responders.

During my work shifts, I immediately recognize First Responders as people who could use support from others, knowing that they themselves are so heavily depended upon. It’s very important to me that I have a chance to let them know firstly that I care enough about them to give them warm and caring customer service, but also that I have an opportunity to wish them well on their shift. I really enjoy making them feel treasured/valued because they really are! It takes a special heart and soul to sacrifice all that they do, to serve others.

I used to wonder if a person (like me) could have an impact and make a difference… but when a First Responder reached out to me a few weeks ago by handing me a card in an envelope (explaining he was leaving the city to go to a new post), he validated within his sentiments in the card, the importance of recognizing First Responders and being nurturing to their souls. View the card below, written by Constable Durling (+ Watch 4, his team), and you will understand why I got a huge lump in my throat and felt tears welling up as I read it!! My best wishes to him and his team on their new posts.

In his card to me, Constable Durling wrote:

Erin, I just wanted to say thank you for being so friendly, welcome, and positive in your job. As a police officer, I see a lot of negativity in the course of a shift but interactions with you were always a bright spot in a shift. I am transferring out of Grande Prairie so just wanted to say Thank You.

Constable Durling + Watch 4

Keith Urban’s song, ‘Burden’, has lyrics that reach out to burdened souls going through tumultuous times and one should remember – you are never alone. You always have a shoulder to lean on. This song, when I play it during my live piano feeds, always makes me think of the love and care between the family dynamics of First Responders. They know and appreciate love, acceptance, support, and teamwork like no other. They are widely accepting of care and support from others not in the First Responder circle, especially when it comes straight from the heart. We would all fare well to #BeExcellentToEachOther.

Burden – Keith Urban

“Let me carry your burden
If somethin’ ain’t right I will let you know
Like the paint that’s drying on a heart that’s broke
Let me carry your burden
Get you back on a high when you’re feeling low
When the weight’s too heavy but you won’t let go
Come to me, my brother, and I will sit with you awhile
Pretty soon I’ll see you smile and you know you will
No matter how much you’re hurting right now
You know that everything will change in time
So let me carry your burden
Let me carry your burden
When your mouth’s on fire but your mind is cold
And you’re fanning flames that won’t keep you warm
Come to me, my brother, and I will sit with you a while
Pretty soon I’ll see you smile and you know you will
No matter how much you’re hurting right now
You know that everything will change in time
Let me carry your burden, oh brother of mine
Let me carry your burden
Come tomorrow you’ll be right as rain
It’ll quench your fire, wash away your stains
Yes it will, yeah
Come to me, my brother, and I will sit with you a while
Pretty soon I’ll see you smile and you know you will
Oh it don’t matter how much you’re hurting right now
You know that everything will change in time
I just might see it in another life
I got no dog here in the fight
I could carry your burden, oh brother of mine
I could carry your burden
I could carry your burden
Carry your burden
Yes I can, yes I can.”

Erin Flanagan Stashko – Jan. 6, 2021

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