I always landed at her doorstep. She was everyone I had ever known and all of those whom I still had yet to meet. She had eyes that knew, with irises that were nothing less than blue pools of compassion. You felt her heart first though, a warmth emanating right from her chest, welcoming and nurturing. She was in her late sixties, I think, her grey hair held loosely with pins at the nape of her neck, but she held herself with a youthful ease.
She already knew I was coming despite the fact that I had not called her to say so. Green tea was brewing. The bitter and herbaceous scent hit me the moment she opened her door.
“Well, come on in,” she said in greeting, shielding her eyes from the early morning sun.. “It’s not that warm out.”
As I entered her home, my senses were hit with a new mixture of smells…of sweet peas (gathered in a bouquet in a vase on the kitchen table) of patchouli (burning slowly in a tiny copper bowl) and of fresh-baked bread (cooling in a tea towel by the window sill). She motioned for me to have a seat on her orange corduroy sofa and I obeyed. I knew I had come to the right place.
“Your energy feels lighter,” she told me, looking me squarely in the eye. “You’ve been shedding.”
I had been thinking a lot lately about clearing my head: A spring cleaning of the mind, so to speak. My practice has always been a wholehearted focus on looking at every little thought that seemed to disturb my peace. Anytime that I told myself those awful little lies, or lingered on judging someone else I stopped, breathed, acknowledged the thought and asked Spirit for help to see it differently. Recently I had felt the need to amp up that practice. I could no longer allow myself to play victim, at least not as often as I had been. I wanted and deserved freedom.
“Yes,” I replied.”I had to. I couldn’t keep carrying that weight.”
She nodded as she leaned forward and poured me a cup of tea. “But that’s not why you’re here, is it?”
“No,” I admitted as I sat back and crossed my legs in front of me. “I’m here because I’ve noticed something. I’ve noticed that as I’ve made a more consistent effort in questioning my thoughts and judgments, the clearer I become. Specifically, I notice that my empathic abilities have expanded. I’ve always been able to sense how a person is feeling and a few years ago I was able to really fine-tune that skill, but this is different. This was purer…like there was way less interference on my end.”
She smiled, her eyes urging me to continue as she raised her cup to her lips.
“I’ve been meeting a lot of new people lately and I’ve found these encounters effortless. I always pray before I meet anyone and it is always helpful, but lately it’s been even more so. I know a person, like I know what they need in that moment, what they need to hear, how to hold space for them, when to speak and when to keep quiet. What’s more is, I know that it’s not even me doing it, not really. It’s like this dance that we’re doing: a miraculous back and forth.”
“Yes,” she said. “I know that dance well.” She placed her cup on the table in front of me and paused for a moment before she spoke again. “Clearing all those cobwebs in your mind makes room for kindness and love. It clears space for Spirit to work once invited.”
I nodded as I drew noisy circles on her sofa with my fingernails. “I had lunch the other day with a man who works with addicts. He told me about a patient of his who was particularly resistant to treatment and had been fighting him for weeks calling himself a ‘lost cause’ who was not worth saving and who had nothing good to live for. This man, my friend, went on to say how just that day, his patient had a complete shift, something small, but significant. He told the group that he would be looking into becoming a Veterinary Technician. He had been searching his life for something, anything to live for and came up with animals. He always loved animals and so if he could find a way to work with them, he may have something to look forward to, a reason to heal.”
“Beautiful,” she said.
“Yes,” I agreed. “And I noticed my friend congratulating himself as this man’s therapist. I found it so incongruent with what I heard, but I said nothing. To my mind, this addict found willingness in a safe, supportive environment and it was his own decision to heal that was the headline to me.”
She smiled slowly, her eyes drawing me in, asking me to look again. “You’re missing something. Take a breath for a second. What are you missing?”
I did as she suggested. I took a breath; I asked to see more clearly. And then I felt it. “They helped each other.”
My belly felt warm at the realization. “They helped each other. In that moment, each was given and gave exactly what was needed.”
“Exactly,” she proclaimed with a smile. “And that’s what you have been noticing about your own experiences lately. There is no separation between you and the people you meet. You are simply allowing Love to move between you in order to heal all that needs to be healed.”
I reached for my tea and took a sip and felt nothing less than gratitude. By being kinder to myself, I was kinder to others. By honouring myself, I honoured others. And by involving Spirit it was all done with ease. We were never alone. A choice for Love was a choice for Peace.