Saturday, September 28, 2013

Touching Each Other's Lives

From time to time we receive an unexpected gift. It’s not wrapped up in beautiful paper with fancy ribbons. Instead it comes in the form of information—information we normally don’t have an opportunity to see.  Luckily, I had the great fortune of being
the recipient of one of these gifts recently and it inspired me to such a degree that I wanted to share what I learned.

It all started when I began compiling a file on my iTunes filled with ambient/electronic/world/lounge type of music. Much to my chagrin, my meager list only contained about ten songs.  I do love the stuff, but it’s not exactly easily found on radio stations. On the rare occasions I am in the same room with someone who is playing it, I am a happy camper indeed, but because it is not so readily accessible I don’t have a clue of what to buy.  That is where my cousin comes into the picture.  You see, he is a professional D.J.

It would stand to reason that being the expert at music that he is, I should contact him, but it was more than that.  I felt at the deepest part of my soul that it was imperative that I contact him right away. I wasn't sure why, but the repeating message inside my head was pretty loud and very determined. It was clear to me that my query could not even wait until after I had my breakfast! So, I sent him an email right then and there—appeasing both my mind and my stomach.

Shortly thereafter, a response was waiting for me in my inbox.  In his first email he suggested that I buy Le Spa Sonique by Jens Gad. Thankfully, my Inner Wisdom was correct. He was the right person to ask. I mean I usually only purchase a song or two from each album, but in this case, I ordered the entire list. Needless to say, I was thrilled and sent him a big thank you over the internet airwaves.

It was his response that came next that had such a powerful affect on me.  What he wrote was, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share music with you. I owe you a great deal of music appreciation.” After reading these first lines, I was admittedly perplexed as I thought to myself, “Huh?” I mean I like music like the next guy, but I don’t really know anything about it. My mom played the piano beautifully as did one of my other cousins and my grandfather played the trumpetas for me, I just sing in the shower. 

Then I read the next line and it hit me like a thunderbolt. “I remember the Christmas when you gave me the Stray Cats album (along with) Combat Rock.” My goodness that was over thirty years ago!  An event that I had long since forgotten until he brought it to my attention all these years later, had actually helped to shape him in some meaningful way.  I could feel the energetic truth in his words as tears of joy filled my eyes.  

This, of course, was the real reason why the Universe was guiding me to contact him.  How often do we get to see how small actions make a big impact with people? Not very often.

So many things were happening in this one instant as I read his words.  I first felt my heart open as it donned on me that we are all constantly putting out different messages to people as we move along our path without realizing that we are having any affect on anyone. These messages may seem meaningless to us, but to the recipient they may change the course of our lives.

I know this to be true, because it happened to me.  When I was just ten years old, I announced to my friend’s mother that I wanted to be a writer someday. After asking me what I wanted to write about, I answered that it would be something fantastical, reminiscent of Star Trek, Star Wars or perhaps a female version of James Bond.  Without any harshness, she responded by telling me simply that I should “write what I know.” I am reasonably certain she has long since forgotten this event, but for me, those prophetic words shaped the writer I would become. Sharing stories from my life, I explain how to view the chaos we all experience from a larger more Spiritual perspective.  In that way, I do indeed write what I know. This has always been my destiny and it was her four little words that triggered me to move in that direction.

My thoughts then jumped from my childhood to a lecture I once attended as an adult.  The orator was physician and author Rachel Naomi Remen. Like me, she makes her point through storytelling.  So, of course, I was drawn to her right away. In this moment I was remembering a powerful story she shared that evening. 

The audience, including me, joined her on the road of her memory as she conveyed how she once attended a conference benefiting battered women. The woman running the organization was a petite and lovely woman who Dr. Remen was surprised to see at this sort of engagement.  It apparently would have been hard to guess that she had been abused at any point in her life.  

The woman conveyed to Dr. Remen that although she was currently married to a wonderful man, her former husband was a tyrant.  It may have appeared to anyone else that they had a fairy-tale marriage.  He had a powerful position. He was handsome. They both dressed well and of course they had the requisite gorgeous home. From an outsider’s perspective, it all looked perfect. What happened behind closed doors, on the other hand, was another matter.  Privately, he scorned his wife and plagued her with verbal abuse.  So, much so that she began to believe every aching word he said to and about her—that is until one day she didn’t anymore.

Unbeknownst to her, it was all about to change while she and her husband were visiting another town.  Walking along the street, she pointed out a building that she admired. Thinking they were alone, he reprimanded her for her stupidity. Suddenly out of nowhere the couple heard the voice of a stranger.  This woman, who was standing behind them, assured him that he was the stupid one as that building was a historical landmark and was clearly beautiful to most people. The stranger then walked away, never to be seen or heard from again. She had fulfilled her Spiritual Contract.  For you see, it was in that moment when this abused wife found the strength to leave her husband.  To anyone else, these would have been small words, but to the wife in the story, they were life-changing.

Dr. Remen continued that if anyone had ever asked the stranger if she was a healer, she would have likely responded in the negative.  In truth, however, we are all healers.  We are constantly filling in small pieces of the puzzle to help create a beautiful picture in other people’s lives.  Let's face it, when a pebble is thrown into the water, it doesn't just hit the one spot.  The ripples the stone creates affect the whole pond—and so do we.

As these stories were showing me different images, I also felt a shift within me. I was thinking about how we can not only affect people in the positive, we can also affect people in the negative.  My words and actions could be equally damaging instead of uplifting.

I, of course, had someone in mind when this thought found its way into my head. This particular person has been irritating me for the last couple of months. Actually, irritating is putting it mildly. Just thinking about having to be anywhere near her was sending chills down my spine.  Furthermore, even when I wasn’t in the vicinity of this person, I continued to dwell about her in my mind—thereby, creating a story that I was the wronged woman.  Worse still, a battle ensued inside of me, because I knew this was a story I was creating.  I am Spiritually Awake, so what was the deal?  Why had I chosen to be in such dis-harmony?

However, in the moment of reading my cousin's email, a reminder flashed through me that each time I reacted to any unkindness by giving back to this person the same thing that is being dished out to me, I am simply making things worse for everyone involved.  With that information flowing through me, I concluded that it was time to move back into my Harmony.

I took this message to heart as I chose right then and there that I would meditate each day and send this person Loving-Kindness. By visualizing myself sprinkling hearts all over her body, I relaxed the negative thoughts I had been projecting towards her. 

Since then, if she practices her annoying shenanigans with me in person, I now make it a point to take a deep breath and intentionally see this person as the Light Being that she really is—knowing full well that we are both learning along the way. For you see, it doesn’t really matter what someone else’s opinion of me is at all. What matters is how I react to her opinions.  If I don’t give these harsh words any credence, then I can move on with my day without any harm done.

I have to tell you, that I have been practicing these exercises for a week now and it has worked. We both are acting far more civilly with one another and when I find myself going down the road of a pity party, I visualize the note from my cousin and begin my meditation.

And so it was easy for me to see after reading that fateful email what the topic for this month’s e-Newsletter was going to be. More to the point, in all likelihood, my cousin didn't realize when he wrote his words, what a profound affect they would have on me, but they most assuredly did—so much so, I felt compelled to share this experience here.  

The important thing to remember is that while we may never know the end result of our words and actions, by simply being aware that we do indeed play a role in every person's life, we can change our viewpoint upon the world.  With every action we take and with every word we utter, we are making an impact of some sort or another on those whom we come in contact with. And on the rare occasion we do get to learn about something we have done to make someone’s life better, then that is just the icing on the cake.  

For me, I send my cousin and all the other parties written in this post many Blessings and much Gratitude for your guiding words—as you have all become my teacher.

Thank you for reading and Namaste! (The Light in me recognizes the Light in you!)

This blog entry comes from my monthly e-Newsletter. If you would like to receive an inspirational story in your inbox every month, please sign up on my e-News page.