PAY IT FORWARD

This morning, as thoughts race through my mind, I’m struck by the memory of something that occurred yesterday.

I was having a rough time and need to try and get out of my head by finding something nice to do for someone. The weather is great, so I decide to go take my son’s dog for a walk at the lake. (Mike is at work all day.)

I arrive  at Mike’s and Ollie is beside himself as I walk through the door. (That unconditional love from dogs is the best.)

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Ollie! Who wants to go to the lake?

It’s a beautiful sunny day as we make our way to the lake in my car.  Ollie’s head pokes out the window like a masthead at the front of a ship.  (Fresh air up a dog’s nose in a moving vehicle is like cocaine to a junkie.) We come to a stoplight.

I can’t help but notice loud, upbeat, old school, soul music coming from the car next to me. (This never bothers me. After all, it’s music.)

Suddenly the music is muted somewhat as I hear laughter from the car next to me. I look to my right to reveal a shiny, spotless, silver mini-van. (I only know cars by color.)
The driver is an attractive, African American woman, probably in her late 20’s, early 30’s, with a beautiful face and very short cropped hair.

“What a cute dog!” She says, smiling.

I begin to laugh, knowing that Ollie’s underbite is not likely to win him any beauty contests, but we love him.

“Thanks.” I reply, grinning ear to ear as we share our quirky appreciation for my son’s dog.

“She’s really cute! Or is it a he?”

“He’s a boy. Ya he’s kinda goofy.”

We both laugh.

“I Love your hair! It’s great!” I tell her.

Her face lights up to reveal a beautiful smile. You could have knocked me over. Not because she was attractive, but because she radiated an energy of absolute joy.   In that moment, I feel myself lifted.

There’s a chain reaction. Her radiant smile, brings one out in me. Suddenly I understand something about the law of attraction.  It’s true. The energy you put out is the energy you get back. (I’ve heard it said that a positive vibration can extend as far as a 250 ft radius around you.)

“Thank you! I decided to just cut it all off.” She says, still smiling.

“You bet! It looks great on you.” (Oh to be young and able to wear short hair without looking like a soccer mom…those were the days.)

As the light changes to green, she smiles at me and says “You have a blessed day!”

“Thank You. You too!!” I reply.

As I pull forward, heading for the lake as she turns towards Lake Shore Drive, I find myself grinning as a tear of joy, actually falls down my cheek. 

My whole energy shifts from this brief encounter. I’m transported from feeling anxiety and stress, to  joy and a better understanding of how things work.

As Ollie and I walk along the grass, I decide to go with this vibe and see what happens. What have I got to lose?

I’m delighted to see people randomly smiling and striking up random chats with me. Its fantastic when you see someone sheltered in a bubble of their own making, lost in thought, (as I was, prior to chatting with the lady in the silver minivan,) only to pierce the bubble with a smile or gesture and see them light up. It’s a wonderful communal feeling. One we’re all capable of. My funk is but a distant memory now.

In future, when I’m struggling, I’ll know what to do. Simply do something nice for someone! If that’s not possible, get outside and smile from within and see how far it reaches into the atmosphere. Just try it! I dare you.

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