I was next at the check out counter in the grocery store. A woman with three small items came up behind me and I immediately asked her to go before me. She thanked me and was a bit shocked.
“This would never happen where I’m from!” She said.
“Where are you from?” I asked.
I told her I was from there too. I laughed. The cashier said she was from there as well. I told her it had nothing to do with where you are from. It had to do with conscious kindness. She had three things. I had many more. I don’t even think about it as location or origins. I don’t think. It’s hard enough waiting in line. It’s not a big deal.
She looked lost in her thoughts. She began to come undone while putting her credit card in the machine. She complained about the weather being too cold, just moving here to Asheville, coming to live with her mother, having to start all over again. In less than three minutes I knew her life. She was younger than me. She was beautiful in a broken way that my heart wanted to grab her and cuddle her through love and compassion. She was completed disheveled by the act of skipping over me. I asked her to stop for one minute and just be. I asked her to just be with the moment. I refrained from going too close to her. She said thank you, paid and left. My words triggered something deep and she just couldn’t be.
I was getting in my car when I saw her still struggling with herself two cars down from me. I told her to have a good evening. To be gentle with herself. Tears formed. She waved and got in her car.
She didn’t want to be seen. She resisted the humanity. She was so deep into her own world of disappointments that she couldn’t get herself comfortable with anyone, let alone my presence. She couldn’t accept. She was way down in too much pain to feel me holding a candle for her release from darkness.
It’s okay. It’s okay to not want to come undone in front of a stranger. But, I hope that you come undone in front of someone. I hope you accept kindness and love and acknowledgment from someone. I hope you have a someone for this. It’s hard to witness and even harder to feel the feels of it all.
And this is what the holidays seem to bring up for so many. They feel forced out of their comfort zone and have to pretend.
So don’t. Don’t do anything you feel goes against your beliefs or your stability. Stay in the now. And make zero excuses for how you feel.
I love you.