This is a classic post, but the phenomena has repeated itself over and over again in my life since. So pay attention. ;)
other day I mentioned that a stranger smiled at me when I was on the
verge "having a moment" in the drug store, and it made me feel like
things were going to be all right. She had no way of knowing how I felt.
She just smiled from her heart.
that day I saw a little girl in a restaurant. She seemed transfixed on
me. Children of a certain age range, say birth to 5 or 6, tend to see
something in me. I flatter myself by thinking they see a lovely aura or
that they see guides around me. Anyway, she had that look. And as her
mother walked her out of the restaurant, I smiled at the little girl as
she walked past. Then she made a monster face at me and disappeared
through the door.
was sitting near the window, so as they walked by me again, I made a
monster face back to her and she laughed. We were simpatico. I knew she
was playing and she knew I was playing. And we had a secret little
moment that her mother was completely unaware of. I imagine both of us relished it.
today I was having really bad day. Just exhausted to the point that
just sitting here writing was almost more energy
than I had to expend. I've been on the verge of sleep and tears all day, but had
deadlines to meet, so I soldiered on. Then I got an email from a friend saying wonderful
things to me and giving me permission to feel exhausted without feeling
guilty about dogs that need walks or anything else.
little, seemingly mundane moments are far more important than they
seem. The stranger in the drug store defused the emotion welling up in
me. The little girl removed any lingering trace of negative feelings
within me. The friend affirmed that I don't always have to do it all.
others doesn't have to cost money, it doesn't take an elaborate plan,
it doesn't even require that you know the person or sense distress. It
just means walking through life with an open heart, an encouraging smile
or a kind gesture or word. You'll never know if your smile fell on deaf
eyes or saved a life. And it doesn't matter. All it takes is to develop
a practice of kindness and love within yourself, regardless of the
other person and whether or not they mean anything to you.
of the hardest and most rewarding spiritual lessons is unconditional
love. Hard, because it requires you to love those society deems
unlovable. Rewarding because it literally sets you free and transforms
you spiritually. And it all starts with simple, kind shows of love like I
smile alone can transform and even save a life. You very well may be
the one bright light in someone's day. You don't have to always be the
smiler. Sometimes you'll be the smilee. But either way, recognizing and
appreciating you're part of a beautiful transaction can move you further
down the path toward achieving universal unconditional love.