Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Kindness of a Stranger.

I consider myself to be a pretty upbeat, friendly person.  I am happy much of the time, and I take that happiness out into my world.  Going to the grocery store is no exception.  Aside from the fact that I love to go grocery shopping, especially for a special holiday meal, I enjoy interacting with other people.


Last night, my family and I were getting some items for our Thanksgiving feast for today.  We were in line, getting our items checked out.  The store was somewhat busy, but the people around us all seemed to be in a happy mood.  People were starting conversations with us and smiling easily.  


As we were getting checked out, a cashier from the aisle next to us started handing us coupons, for this item or that.  I thanked her a couple of times.  Then, she came over to our line, and gave us an additional coupon for our visit.  I thanked her again, for being so generous to us, that I deeply appreciated it.


She told me, that she remembered that I am always so nice and kind when I come into that grocery store, that she wanted to do something in return for me.  


I was stunned.  You see, I give, just for the sake of giving.  I haven’t always been that way.  In the past, although I have always been a giving person, I would often get caught in the trap of giving, with an expectation of being shown gratitude for it in return.  I always expected something back, even if just a thank you.  When that wasn’t expressed, I would use that as an excuse to feel resentful. 


I understand now how much more meaningful it is for me to give, just because I want to.  That the giving is not about me, it is about what I want to offer to someone else.  That when I remember the purity of the intention, then the result, the outcome does not matter one bit.


I asked this cashier last night, after she told me this, if I could give her a hug, and she said yes.  When I hugged her, and she hugged me back, tightly, I felt our hearts connecting as one.  I remembered, yet again, the uniqueness and universality of us as human beings.  That we all are one, even when we forget that.  That we never know how our actions may impact the lives of others, at any time.


That any small gesture of kindness, given freely and without expectation, brings gifts that are beyond measure. 






I have been on a spiritual journey of one sort or another for most of my adult life.  That journey has been several different paths.  For some amount of time, I studied different religious paths, by attending church, reading up on other beliefs, and figuring out where I saw myself fitting in.  I enjoyed the ritual of organized religion for a period of time, and also enjoyed doing my own thing at home, with an altar, and spending time in nature.


I also have followed the 12 steps in the past as a spiritual path.  Even though I did not go through all of the steps, they made sense to me on a deep level.  I used the knowledge that I obtained both in and out of the rooms to guide me on the type of person that I wanted to be and how I wanted to see myself in the world around me.  It was helpful and a light that led me for some time.


Most recently, the information that has best served me, in terms of my spiritual journey, has been the reading of the Four Agreements, and The Power of Now.  Both continue to point me not only to the present moment, but back to myself.  


I have often thought that the answers to my spiritual questions were to be answered outside of myself, as a way to discover who I really am; as a way to know myself.  And, I have found some information that has been really helpful to me.  Yet, any information that I have used to find the answers, have been ill advised.  


This portion of the journey seems to be the most powerful so far, and that is because I understand, finally, a couple of key things.  First of all, my self, my core being, has not been lost, so nothing has to be found.  I don’t have to seek anything, without or within, because it is always within me, and it always has been.  Just like the sun never stops shining, even when we cannot see it, our spiritual core never leaves us.  It is always there, just waiting for us to awaken and remember that we have it all along.


The other deep, core lesson for me is that I also can be grateful for the many times that I forget that it is within me.  When I forget that being in the past or future does not serve me well, it is developing consciousness.  When I forget to not take others personally, or to not make assumptions, I get to remind myself deeply that not only does nothing have to do with me, but that we are all part of the same light, the same source.  I get to remember our uniqueness and sameness.


Every time that I forget, I get to gain more wisdom and deeper understanding of what it is that I possess already.  That nothing is going on; there is no crisis; that all is well in this very moment.


In the forgetting, I get to keep awakening.