Have you ever heard someone you do not know tell your story? If not, you probably weren’t listening. There is always someone that has experienced the same things we have, the abusive childhood, the loss of a loved one, the betrayal of a friend or a family member, someone else has already been there, but more importantly, they have found a way to navigate those turbulent waters and find peace.

BUT, we have to be willing to listen, to hear beyond the screaming of fear that says, “No one understands me, or gets me, they will leave me, reject me, or cast me out. Without listening for a new story, our response will be, interestingly enough, to isolate, recoil from people as if they are the hot flame. Which, oddly enough, creates the same result we were afraid of, to begin with. Storytelling is a great tool for connecting if we listen. Everyone I know that finally reached the point of desperation where they had to listen was amazed to find that someone ‘got them.’ Aside from the miracle of connecting with another human being, there is the power of connecting with the Power Within Us. We are never truly alone. We must never stop seeking the connection with others or with our source. This big old world is truly frightening if we live in a space where we feel alone against everything.

It certainly seems like the entire world is going crazy. Family members are not speaking to each other over different political views; people terrified of their financial standing, not being able to hug or hold someone we love because we are mortified of a virus.

Fear has taken a death grip on most of us. The result is obvious; we have divided the divisions into even more divisions until no one knows where there is safety or security. After this virus, we are facing came to our country. Shortly after that, our suicide rate skyrocketed, domestic violence went through the roof, and mental health issues became more prominent. We were isolated and told to be careful, and we needed to be. When we most needed to be connected. We scrambled, looked high and low for answers, used the phone more, turned to the internet, used every available device we could, and connected. Virtual became a way of life. WE seemingly stood alone facing, as the newsreels say, “These unprecedented times.”

We seem to think/feel/believe that we have never been here before. There may be some truth to this, but not totally. We have faced trying times before. I will not bore you with repeating the stories of our history. I will, however, let you in on what we seem to overlook. People are still connecting, reaching out to each other, learning to see the comforting smiles in someone’s eyes when we can’t see the smile for the mask, we’ve learned to fist bump, elbow bump, do the distanced hug, and somehow some are still remembering to laugh.

I see people rushing ahead of the elderly to get the door for them. Maybe, this is a time to realize what is truly important. Like remembering to smile with your eyes, nodding a pleasant gesture to someone you pass in line, give a compliment instead of a complaint. Maybe, it is a time to remember to have faith and trust in the process of life. Even if we have to look deep to think about what we have to be grateful for, a time when we can, even the smallest of kind gestures, may give someone a little hope that there are still kind people in this world, even amidst all this chaos. There is one thing I know for sure; I can only do my part. I am responsible for doing at least one kind act a day.

If we could begin to see these times, no matter how difficult how we can connect and stop trying to find so many ways to separate, maybe we can start to heal and become strong again. Healing is for all of us, it is empowering, and it is our birthright.

I will close with this; Never Stop Hoping and Never Give Up!

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