Yesterday I took my dog for a walk and ended up walking along the beach with a total stranger. The funny thing is we talked like we were old friends. We also both got some real gems from the conversation. I left feeling really inspired. This reminded me of an encounter I had with another stranger a while back and I thought I would share…
I picked up a hitchhiker a while back. I don’t often do this, however it was a woman on her own and I was drawn to stop and offer her a lift.
She hopped in the car and thanked me profusely and we started chatting. You know, the small talk that takes place when you don’t really know someone. I’m not sure how it came about, but this woman chose to share her story. 11 years earlier, her life was turned upside down, the experience she went through not only affected her, it affected her whole family.
I could see she still held on to the pain, it was engrained in the lines on her face and she carried it on her shoulders, there was also a deep sadness in her eyes. My heart went out to her.
I stayed silent as she described how her life had unfolded after that fateful day. It seemed she hoped the drugs and alcohol might be a way to forget the pain, however it seemed to do the opposite.
After sharing her story, she mentioned she wanted to move away and start again. I asked her what she wanted to do with her life and she said her dream was to go into schools and speak about the effects of drugs and alcohol. She mentioned she had been a drug addict and was now clean. I congratulated her on this huge success.
I also found out she sang and that she would love to do a concert raising money for children who had gone through similar experiences. It was so wonderful to see how her face lit up, as she shared her hopes and dreams. She sounded like a different person than the one who had just shared some of her deepest secrets with me. As I arrived at her destination and dropped her off, I simply said, keep hold of those dreams, talk to people, ask questions, and find out how you can make your dreams a reality, there is no one better to teach about a topic than someone who has gone through those experiences. I wished her all the best and she said if I saw her again make sure to say hello. I most certainly will. I felt privileged to have met this courageous woman.
As I drove away I thought about the significance of picking this lady up and what I could learn from it.
The first thing I noticed was how hurt and angry she still was. I could see this in her body language, her eyes, the lines on her face and the load on her shoulders. It reminded me that when we hold on to the past, it’s like we are punishing ourselves. Replaying it over in our head. The other person may have moved on, however we are still carrying the burden. I understand how hard it can be to forgive and I know through my own life experiences how freeing it is to let go.
I also noticed how she changed when she spoke about her dreams. She lit up, she had hope and her face became softer. This reminded me that when we focus on what we want, we feel better. The better we feel the more good we attract. Then one day we realize we haven’t thought of the bad feelings and life is much sweeter.
I also felt huge amounts of gratitude for my life. I went home and really appreciated my family, home and all the blessings I have.
This woman who I chatted with for no longer than 30 minutes had an amazing story and I felt hugely privileged, that she had shared it with me.
So what is your story? What are the experiences that have made you the person that you are today? Have these experiences made you a better person or do you feel they have held you back?
Take some time to journal your story. Discover what you need to let go of and what lessons you have learned. Have compassion for yourself and forgive and set yourself free.
If you received an insight from this blog, comment below. What did you learn and what are you going to do about it x