|photo via firstcontactgroundcrewteam.com|
She stood behind the counter but the unhappy in her voice filled the entire post office. It was irritated, it was frustrated, it was downright angry, and there was no hiding it. It came out with such clarity and conviction that I watched as customer after customer went up to the counter like meek little mice, knowing they were about to be blasted.
And yet she didn’t look like a monster. Her dark hair was cut into a simple bob that fell just below her ears and even though her fingers moved noiselessly through the air as if longing for something that would never be, her eyes told me that her softness wasn’t far away. It just needed an invitation, a safe place to be heard.
I watched her. I listened to her. I visualized the little girl she once was and began to see that little girl hiding behind her eyes, in the angry adult she had now let herself become. I didn’t need to know why. I didn’t even blame her. We all have reasons to be angry, don’t we? I just loved her. I loved her where she was, anger and all.
And then it was my turn to approach her.
“How’re you doing?” I said as genuinely as I felt, my eyes lasers, determined to connect with her softer self.
“I’m ok,” she said, not looking at me, busy with my packages.
“I mean, really . . . I care.”
She stopped what she was doing to look up at me. For a moment she wasn’t sure how to handle me. Was I attacking her? Was I being kind? And if I was being kind, why? What did I want from her? She chose to play it safe. To remain hard. “I told you, I’m fine.”
“You know,” I said, “everyone in here is just starting their day. And you not only hold the power over their packages, you also hold the power to change their day. I guess I just want you to know you’ve already changed mine.”
Her eyebrows scrunched together and her eyes, they weren’t sure if they needed to harden or soften. “Excuse me?” She tried not to care too much for it was obviously uncomfortable for her.
“Uh huh, you have.” I leaned in so the rest of the customers couldn’t hear, “I see who you really are and I know you’re a good and kind person with a very big heart.” I paused. “You’ve reminded me how important it is to see with the eyes of love.”
She twitched her head to the side as if to stop a budding tear.
“You gave me that, you know, even in your disguise,” I said.
“My disguise?” she was trying to hide her softness now.
That’s when I smiled. Softly. And nodded. “Your disguise.”
“Thank you,” she said, after a hard swallow. “It’s been a hard week and I guess I just let it get the best of me.”
“Begin again . . . Susan,” I said, after searching for her nametag. “Be who you really are. The day is still yours.”
“Yes, it is,” she said with a soft smile. “Yes, it is.”
And together we smiled, our hearts nothing but a mess of soft happy goop, no anger in sight.
* * *
Anger is all around us and it threatens to engulf us if we aren’t careful. From where I stand, the only way we don’t fall prey to the things that hurt us, is to arm ourselves with love. Yep, love. And love for even the most angry and hurt of us all. Call it a revolution of LOVE. The only rEVOLution that can ever save us all.
This week I challenge you to LOVE, to love as often and with as much force as you can, both yourself and everyone around you. Everyone. Even the hardened postal worker. Overturn hardened hearts back to the softness they once were, peel away the layers piled on for protection, reassuring yourself and those around you that you and they are safe---safe to be who we all are. Be the love you need for your own optimal functioning. Be a force in the rEVOLution of love, a force to truly be reckoned with.
For if we don’t want to live in a world filled with anger and hate, then we must do something about it. We must begin our own rEVOLution of love.