Everything Happens for a Reason
We have all heard the saying, “things happen for a reason”, right? Let me share a short story of how meeting a stranger happened for a reason.
In a city of over 1 million people (the number may not be exact, forgive me) I am out on a beautiful sunny day after a few days of rain, smelling the flowers and taking in the fresh smells of Summer! I’m waiting for the dog to finish smelling everything and a total stranger (who I believe is a stranger) engaged me in conversation, first instigated by our dogs playing around.
As it was revealed very quickly, we had met on an occasion, not that long ago in the past and thus the conversation continues. We choose to walk with the dogs and converse. The conversation was easy and intellectual and some very personal thoughts and concerns were shared by the stranger. I had, of course, asked permission to ask such personal questions and it seemed to me that she was eager to have someone listen without comment or opinions.
That’s how I like to approach all conversations - by actively listening.
The dog walk lasted more than 75 minutes and in that time there was never a grasp at conversation, never a feeling of judgement or not belonging, just a real sense of connection between two strangers and shared information and perhaps some new perspectives to ponder.
Have you had that happen to you? People are drawn together by energies or by circumstances and on this day, I believe our meeting was for me to contribute to her spiritual well-being. You see, this stranger is dealing with a medical condition in an unconventional way, and contrary to how her family wants her to deal with it. For her, there is some self doubt and “what ifs”. Her need was to have someone listen (actively listen, which means no agenda and no judgement, just listening to hear, not to respond).
We parted ways, left with a hug and a smile and a bounce to our steps. Knowing that I contributed to another human being, simply by listening, fulfilled me beyond measure. Being able to create space for this person to feel vulnerable and safe to share her journey with me allowed me the opportunity to be of contribution. Being a contribution doesn’t have to look a certain way or be a huge gesture. Being in the right place on the dog park trail clearly was enough for both of us on this day.
Lesson learned: LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND instead of LISTEN TO RESPOND