It’s the Simplest Gestures
….the unexpected kindnesses that often mean the most.
I have been under the weather for about ten days. Inordinately frustrated with my body and its refusal to cooperate with my plans, I’ve probably spent more energy fighting it than giving it the time and attention it needs to heal. It’s an inconvenient illness in oh so many ways, most notably my nieces impending wedding. The original plan was to drive the three hours today to my sister’s house, attend the wedding tomorrow and visit with another niece who is flying in from California, cuddle her two small children whom I have never met, and return home Sunday. Tonight, we were to attend a 60′s musical review, tickets compliment of my sister and her husband. What fun!
The new plans are, go to the doctor this afternoon and, hope upon hope, drive up tomorrow, probably missing the wedding but at least spending a little time with my California sweetie and her sweeties. Or, more likely not go at all. Disappointment personified.
Into every life a little rain must fall. Some of it we may make sense of down the road. Most of it we tuck away inside somewhere to add to the feeling memories that build our compassion muscles and help us understand another’s disappointments and sorrows. It’s just the way life seems to go. When I woke up this morning I lay in bed trying not to feel sorry for myself and this came to mind:
I swim the ocean of my life in search of my soul.
It is the goodness of others that keeps me going when I can’t find the shore. It’s the little kindnesses, the compassion offered, the understanding words shared, that remind me that I am not alone in my misery, even if it’s only a temporary, not-even-very-important-misery. Being alone, for me, is always the hardest part. The helpless, hopeless place I often live in…the not even knowing how to open myself to receive the love that might come my way place.
Once in a while, a hand reaches across the ocean into the scared, scarred places and touches me. It brings tears to my eyes. This week, a woman I’ve only met once, a kind, compassionate soul, my husband’s customer, sent flowers home with him, to me, when she heard I was sick. She touched me in my broken places. She helped me find my soul. A virtual stranger.
We never know what our little acts of kindness will do for another. We don’t need to know. We just need to open the generous kind spirit that lives within us and let it flow. Perhaps even more importantly, we need to relax and open our receiving place and allow what comes our way to heal us and love us; and tuck that little gem somewhere deep inside to remind us that we are not alone and that we are loved. We do matter.