In my work now, helping people heal their “heart issues”, I hear some incredibly sad stories.
Stories of nearly unspeakable cruelty, doled out by people who themselves are damaged.
You and I walk among wounded people. Some people hide their scars pretty well. Some do not.
One man told of being at a church gathering. Because of health issues and a son with major difficulties, the man has been on disability, unable to work. At the gathering, the usual, “So, what do you do for a living?” question was asked. The man had no ready answer. As he stumbled through the truth, he noted how the other men looked away, not sure how to handle such honesty.
The man never wanted to go back to that group again. Acceptance? No. He felt judged and dismissed. Yet another incident to add to his pile of “I’m unworthy” belief.
I heard a story told about a young woman who ended her life by jumping off a bridge. When police went through her pockets, looking for a clue as to why she did it, they found a note.
“If only one person had smiled at me today, I would not have jumped.”
A simple smile would have saved her life.
A simple smile and a “That must be a hard place to be right now” could have turned my client’s uncomfortable situation into an experience of acceptance.
Take the time to look into someone’s eyes today and smile. Take a moment to really listen to what a person says, and let your heart form words of acceptance, of life.
Realize that nobody has their act together. We are all walking wounded, to some extent. We all long for the same things: acceptance, significance, peace, love. Hope.
Just a smile can give a small measure of these things to someone else. Energy is exchanged. I believe that positive always wins. Light always drives away darkness, never the other way around.
Give the “abundant gift” of a simple smile. A few words of affirmation and acceptance. Turn the light on.
It just may save a life.