I’m the type of person that although I have a loving heart and live with compassion, intent, and humility, I don’t mingle outside of my circle. I don’t trust anyone (can you blame me?) so it’s hard to let anyone in. I reach out to help, but at a distance, extremely cautious.
Lately, I haven’t been able to get something off my mind. I find myself reminiscing about a certain conversation with a certain someone who forced me to think and look as deep into my soul and spirit than I ever had to, and it took place during a fortuitous encounter.
It was the middle of the night, when a man came over to me. We locked eyes and started talking.
We sat across from each other, and I was silently on-guard as I got into an ‘accidentally deep’ conversation with this ‘stranger.’ We talked about everything… books, art, history, life, philosophy… Hours went by and I felt like I could tell him anything.
Then the subject of travel came up, and I began telling him the places I’d been. I said specifically, that I had been traveling the world since I was really young, but that I’ve really been ‘running all over the place for the past ten years.’ Up until that moment, I hadn’t thought about the difference between the words ‘traveling’ and ‘running.’
He looked at me with a genuine and serious look , and without hesitation, he said ‘ what are you running from?’….
I looked down, as it felt like the wind got knocked out of me.
My expression changed as I recalled the hundreds of thousands of miles I had traveled.
It was only then that I realized that it’s all this that I had been running from, and continue to run from.
I was trying to put distance between myself and my broken heart. I wanted away from this hurt, the agony of life without my niece, the restless helplessness I felt about seeing my whole family destroyed beyond comparison. I wanted away from the anger, the sleepless nights, the daydreams and the nightmares, the feeling of being on edge. I wanted away from this thing, this huge monster.
Looking back, it didn’t matter if I was two cities over, in the middle of the Caribbean ocean or Mexican Riviera, or on a road trip with a road map, nothing could take it away, nothing could make me forget.
After I sipped my 7-Up to try to make the lump in my throat go down a little easier, I became painfully aware of how immensely vulnerable I was at that moment. I felt raw emotion, and I couldn’t hide it. How surprising that someone could help me and change me with only a single question. It was one of those ‘wow’ moments, the very definition of an epiphany.
After I explained our story, we sat in silence. Tears ran down my face, he placed his hand gently on mine with great empathy, and I felt relieved to be understood.
It was like the stars aligned, the world stopped spinning in the opposite direction, and the hope I desperately needed, was restored. From then on, I was able to put one foot in front of the other, I was ready to tackle this beast.
With the help of a kind stranger, my life was saved, and I will forever be thankful …. I was in the right place, at the right time, and it was anything but an accident …. It was divine.