Thing is, I didn’t know it was there Sitting on a shelf. Waiting for me.
Uh-uh CLICHED ANALOGY WARNING: the gift that has to be accepted….unrealised potential… lost opportunities… call to faith…
Well no actually – it could be all of those things, but it isn’t.
I am just going to tell you about what happened when I went to the Post Office to ask about a missing parcel.
I’m standing in the queue listening to the man already at the counter making chit chat, thinking to myself ‘come on – hurry up, I’ve lots to do’. Then immediately feeling guilty for thinking this because the man was in a mobility scooter and was probably taking longer than usual in part for that reason. He was explaining that he was booked in for a residential term of intensive physiotherapy treatment because he wanted to walk again so he could return to work.
The postmaster raised his eyebrows. “You want to walk again?” he asked.
“That’s the idea,” was the reply, “I live in hope.”
Then the man manoeuvred his scooter awkwardly within the restricted space and exited. I noticed he was a fairly young man – maybe in his thirties. Certainly too young never to work again.
My turn now.
“It’s been here waiting for you” says Postmaster Kevin, having asked for my name and address.
A few moments later, I am leaving the post office carrying my parcel. Outside the mobility scooter is parked on the narrow street as the man puts away his cards and money. I walk by.
I walk by.
It’s the kind of sentence that replays on a loop.
Even as I am crossing the road and turning the corner towards home I regret not stopping. Not taking a moment to talk to him, and offer my help…
And the irony isn’t lost on me.
You see all morning I had been busy preparing for the upcoming Reconnective Healing Global Awareness Day this Saturday (24th September). I had compiled two short animated videos using Adobe Spark (get me!) and I even shared ‘My Moment’ on my first ever You Tube video!
It’s to upload to the Reconnection Facebook page with the promise that it will appear in the home stream at some point during the day.
So here I am, reaching out on the World Wide Web, but not seeing the person in front of me, on my doorstep in my little home town…
I stop. A thousand thoughts flood into that millisecond.
You missed your chance, never mind, you don’t even know him, you can’t just start talking to strangers in the street, especially about healing, too random, you’ll scare him, he might get defensive, he might be offended, he might get aggressive, doesn’t matter, let it go…
“I live in hope…”
Routine and instinct is telling me to forget it. But my hand reaches down to the front pocket zip of my bag. And yes, there it is – my business card case.
Why did I grab this bag, the only smart-ish shoulder bag I have that I never use when I’m just popping to the shops?
That does it. I turn.
I walk back up the street towards the Post Office, without allowing myself time to think. He’s still there, on his scooter. But he’s started it up now – it’s whirring like a moon jet and going at quite a pace. I cross the road and step onto the pavement catching his eye. He slows and stops, realising I want to speak to him.
To be honest I can’t even remember what my first words were. Something about I couldn’t help overhearing him in the post office and I’m a Reconnective Healing Practitioner, like I’m announcing I’m MI5 swooping in to issue a protection order, I don’t know but I did it.
And it wasn’t so bad.
He didn’t look horrified, nor terrified, nor angry. He asked me what it was again that I did. I was able to explain that there would be lots of information online on Saturday with it being RH Global awareness day, and that details of where to look were on the card.
I also explained that though I’m obliged to advertise a fee, he mustn’t be put off by that. I’d like to try and help him if I can, so we can sort something out if he feels he wants to contact me.
And that’s it. I walk away, still holding my gift. A hand-painted mug from a friend who has just opened an Etsy shop.
I don’t know if the man will get in touch. I don’t know if it matters.
I don’t even know his name.
All I know is that I listened to that small voice. The one we often ignore because it takes us out of our comfort zone.
It taught me a valuable lesson today.
It taught me to stand back and take a reality check from time to time:
To see the contradiction of being so busy with my cyber-networking that I fail to notice the people around me.
To make sure that I am true and authentic – in real life what I purport to be on the internet.
To try to walk the talk in each and every moment.
Maybe that was the unexpected gift.