As a little girl, I remember my Mom drilling this message into my sister and I. She owned a bar/restaurant in The Bronx. On a daily basis, there were new faces coming into her establishment … some were friendly, some were not. The message of “stranger danger” was received at an early age, but I don’t think they called it that back in those days.
Recently I accompanied my husband on a business trip to Wildwood, NJ. While he was exhibiting at his trade show, I was on the beach. I was not alone ~ I had my book, my laptop, my iPad and my iPhone. 😉 Not far from me was another woman, alone with her tech toys as well. I never saw this woman before and was compelled to strike up a conversation. “Look at those ocean waves this morning.” She immediately smiled and we started a discussion about how hot the day was, how nice it was to be in Wildwood with the summer crowds behind us, how beautiful the sky was, etc., etc. That was the introduction to becoming familiar with each other.
She shared about where her life was right now ~ she was wealthy but alone. No one to share her riches … an ugly divorce now behind her, with children who abandoned her after a long history of alcoholism, she was very lonely. She got sober 6 months ago and is still repairing the damage done. When I shared I was in recovery myself, she light up like a Christmas tree.
What were the chances of 2 women, never having met before, have so much in common. I explained how making amends in sobriety is a process. The steps in Alcoholics Anonymous are in their order for a reason. Her biggest stumbling block right now is patience ~ you don’t get sober and then all is forgiven from the past. You first need to learn about yourself, why you drank the way you did, and how you got to where you are today and hope for the future. I made sure to let her know how much talking with her helped me ~ it allowed me to reflect on how far I have come in my own journey.
I spoke to a stranger today ~ and what a gift! She reminded me of early recovery and the trials/tribulations I faced, overcame and living a life today that is beyond my wildest dreams. I shared with her how my faith in a Higher Power has become the root of all. We laughed, we hugged and she thanked me for helping her have a brighter outlook on her day. TODAY is a gift, this is why we call it the PRESENT.
Enjoy life ~ talk to a stranger and put a smile on their face. You have no idea what that individual is currently experiencing. A brand new face, a new smile, a new outlook is all someone needs. And when a stranger approaches you, don’t be so quick to push them away ~ be the light! We need an abundance of peace, love and understanding in this world.
And after our talk, ah-h … I was filled with gratitude and returned to watching the beautiful ocean waves coming up on the beach and thinking to myself, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” Peace, Light! Mucho hugs!