The first night of Passover and Good Friday -- a powerful spiritual double header for sure. After a long day of meetings talking about mental health advocacy, I stopped for gas on my way to the Oakland airport to head home to Portland. As I was multitasking-- holding my wallet, my credit card and pumping gas, a man in an obviously altered state with piercing, glazed over eyes suddenly appeared next to me. He said, "I just got out of prison, I am not a killer I need money -- help me." I froze and went into fear mode: At first all I could think of were news stories of people being robbed or hurt at gas stations. Then the man proceeded to spew out a string of forceful statements: I hate begging; help me, I'm hungry; people suck; everyone looks at me like I'm crazy, like I am poison. When I heard poison, I was jolted out of my fear and got into my yogic spot of union. I said to myself, "OK flawless girl, practice what you preach -- seeing the perfection in everyone, light, shine, walk the walk!!" I turned to the man, made eye contact, took in his essence, and the words that came out of me felt like something I would say to someone dear to me, someone I love. "Sweetie, as soon as I finish with the gas, I am going to give you money." I met him with dignity and he returned in kind as he walked away and said, "Oh, wow, OK, OK, yeah I will give you some room."
We then entered the zone of what we often experience in our work at Flawless, what I call sacred intimacy. Sacred intimacy is a place where life force is as alive as when a baby is born or when someone takes their last breath; it is a place of raw connection, beauty and trust. When I took out my wallet to give him some money, he was surprised and said " What, this is for me? God bless you" and he started to cry. In a tearful, apologetic voice he continued, "I am sorry I scared you... did I insult you?" I asked him how he would have insulted me and he said, "This is Oakland late at night, you are all alone, I am a black guy who just got out of prison. You are an angel," he said as he walked away. We connected at the level of our deepest humanity, our divinity, our heartbreak, our love, and I am not sure who got the bigger gift on that night. It was definitely a Good Friday.
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