It was a difficult call to make. I was torn, knew I had to make it but felt unsure, unsafe, sad. I had procrastinated. Found anything else to do rather than make that call. You know how that feels, right?
It wasn't just a day like that, the whole week had gone that way. All the plans I had made had shifted last minute. I felt like a ship afloat on the ocean, no wind, just drifting, sails flapping and flaying. No direction.
I knew that I was over-feeling all the stories -- that happens sometimes.
It gets overwhelming, the most painful stories get too close. I remember being in a room, listening to the stories of pain and suffering and feeling that I couldn't breathe. The story of grief after death, the story of loss of great love, the story of suffering through illness, the story of the discrimination. They weren't my stories, but the pain, the pain was all mine.
And the same with joy. At the airport watching people finding their families, reuniting after separation, tears pouring down my face witnessing other people's joy. Seeing the baby hear for the first time after months of silence when the hearing aid was place, watching the parents meeting their adopted child for the first time. The joy too much to bare.
That's when I know it's time to reconnect. To let go of everyone else's story and find mine. To step away to a quiet and beautiful place, breathe deeply, notice the beauty all around, breathe some more and connect to the one and only story, to mine.
So back to this call that I was avoiding. I had even gotten to reviewing my invoices and bank statement (that's a sure sign of avoidance for me!) And then it happened.
The phone rang. I recognized the number. It was the call I had hope wouldn't come. I answered. I listened. I felt shame, anger and embarrassment. The coffee shop buzz disappeared and I saw no one.
While I listened I wrote notes, so I wouldn't forget anything he said. I listened and tried not to react. I listened and tried not to cry. I listened and knew that some of this was mine. I listened and felt exhausted.
A single tear poured down my face.
The call ended. I opened my computer and went back to work. I noticed that the people who were sitting around me had gone. The coffee shop had emptied out.
I asked the waiter to watch my computer and I went to the bathroom. I washed my face, stretched my legs and ordered a fresh cup of coffee.
When I got back to my computer there was folded piece of paper on the keyboard.
The only other person in the coffee shop was an old woman and her daughter deep in conversation.
I looked around me to see if I could see anyone I knew. I asked the waiter if he had seen anyone. The note seemed to have appeared magically.
I opened it and read the words.
'You Are Loved'.
And saw the heart drawn underneath the neat writing.
And in those three words, I was at peace.
I still don't know who wrote the note. I realize now that I'll never know.
What I do know is that it is true. I am loved. And so are you.
And that love is truly all we need. To protect and guide us. To keep us connected to ourselves. To take away the pain. To make peace.