I had a hug today that changed my perspective instantly.
It was the heartfelt kind of hug that lingers a bit longer, as though those few extra moments are used to help heal the soul.
It occurred just as a I was about to leave the market.
I had entered the store about 30 minutes earlier to pick up a handful of items. My list could not have contained more than 6 items, and I intended to be in-and-out in just a matter of minutes.
Inside, I ran into a good friend who wanted to chat about great Chico restaurants, the world series, and fond memories about taking his son to Atlanta just before the retiring game of famous player, Chipper Jones.
I thought my body language was a dead giveaway to my "rush."
I had half of my body turned to head down the next isle. I walked to the register and started unloading my basket. I even pulled out my credit card, ready to swipe away, as soon as the clerk would give me the go ahead.
Still oblivious to my energy, they wished me well on my travels to Florida and said "see you next summer!"
I got a hug from him, too, and it was a genuine one from the heart. But, it's not the hug I'm talking about.
I was still ready to bolt out the door as soon as I had receipt in hand.
Before taking my groceries to the car, though, I had to go pick up the coconut milk latte I had previously ordered before my shopping began.
It was probably cold at this point, no doubt.
However, the coffee shop had been slammed and my friend was just about to make my drink!
I had been wanting something hot to soothe my throat on this cold fall morning.
As she steamed the milk, I asked how things had been going.
As with many of our responses, it was detached.... sharing how the espresso machine had been malfunctioning for a few days now and they were probably going to have to close it down entirely until the technician came out to make the needed repairs.
As I was about to pay for my drink, I jokingly told her about my irritable attitude this morning, and how I just needed some alone time. Even Steve told me to get out of the house for a bit, clear my head, and come back the happy Kym he knows and loves.
This refreshing moment of honesty almost brought a few tears to her eyes.
She opened up to me about the recent sleepless nights, watching her grand-baby so her daughter can get back up and on her feet after some relationship issues. She, too, expressed the need for a break, and probably just some much-needed sleep.
She sighed deeply.
In that moment of pause, I reached out to give her a hug.
It was truly a heart-to-heart moment, where you connect with someone so authentically and want their happiness just as much as your own.
The hug took me out of myself.
It slapped my self-absorption straight in the face, and reminded me that life is all about connection.
As much as I was looking forward to spending time by myself, sipping my latte in silence, it was this honest, human interaction that helped bring me back to life.
When I finally curled up at home, by the fire, I opened up my book. The chapter could not have been more relevant--it was about restoration.
Restoration is defined as returning something to its previous condition. It is also synonymous with repair or reconstruction.
The author talked about creating a home where his family could come and be restored. A place where not just the furnishings made you feel comfortable, but a place you could feel safe and supported... a place where you could restore whatever had been torn down living in the fast-paced world outside of its walls.
Taking it a step further, I'd like to be the kind of person that welcomes restoration in my friendships.
I'd like my life, my attitude, to make a positive difference for those around me.
I'd like to leave my interactions with others feeling refreshed, and I'd like them to feel the same.
I'd like to use the time I have by myself to be energized, and then be able to authentically share my connection, my enthusiasm, and my gifts with others.
The good news is, that even in those times when I don't feel my best, being honest can still allow my relationships to flourish.
For in the moment I was real with my friend, we were able to restore hope and courage and strength for each other with just a simple hug.
Who knows how else this can powerfully take shape when I actually put my attention on it!?!
Since I like to take action on my insights, I began to use the Direct your Course Activity on this concept of restoration. I began to ask myself,
- What does restoration look like, sound like, and feel like in my spiritual sphere?
- What does restoration look like, sound like, and feel like in my personal sphere?
- What does restoration look like, sound like, and feel like in my business sphere?