A moment in time where there was no doubt there is something greater serving us. A chance meeting. Or was it?
As I was sitting at Vancouver airport, waiting for my flight back to Calgary I noticed a man walking towards me. I looked twice, you know that second glance when you see a good looking person of the opposite sex. He resembled one of those handsome men with the piercing eyes on the cover of GQ. He sat down next to me.
“Where are you off to?” he casually asked.
“I’m off to Calgary, how about you?” I responded, my body language not fully engaged in the conversation.
“That’s where I’m going as well.” he replied.
A moment of uncomfortable silence was broken when I used the same old boring line.
“Calgary has had better weather than here. The dreary rain didn’t bother me too much as I was indoors at a conference. How about you?” I shared.
Nothing could have indicated to me what was coming next.
“I was sexually abused, so I came here for a program.” He stated, almost nonchalantly.
I paused, almost shocked. As I took a moment to accept what I just heard I reached down into my computer case. There was one copy of A Quiet Strong Voice left. “This is his copy, it was intended for him.” I thought to myself.
“Thank you for your honesty and courage to share with me. This is my gift to you.” I said as I handed him the copy.
His hands gently touched the cover, I could see and feel deep reflection, and could sense gratitude. Gratitude that I can only assume stems from feeling heard, accepted and not judged. As he read the words – my journey through depression, anxiety and attempted suicide, tears filled his eyes.
Honesty and Vulnerability Leads to Deeper Connection
Believe it or not, the time frame of this unfolding was less than 15 minutes. In that short span of time his honesty and vulnerability created a space for a deep connection between two complete strangers. His choice to be open and honest led to him feeling accepted, appreciated and not alone.
He chose. . .
An excerpt from A Quiet Strong Voice:
“Connection really is at the heart of life, of being healthy and authentic. On numerous occasions, I have witnessed the fact that when I express myself honestly, I receive empathy, acceptance, freedom and peace. All of which serve me in a positive way.
The voice of fear and doubt pops up, “what if someone gets upset and turns their back on me or walks away? The quiet, strong voice says “Lee, when you come from a place of honesty and love, you can rest assured that those who matter will not walk away.”
Like this man did today, when you express how you are truly feeling, what you are going through and not just playing the “I’m okay” game, deep connection has the opportunity to blossom. I may never see him again, yet there is a place in my heart that fills with pride and gratitude that I was there and that he chose to be honest and vulnerable.
What character traits do you have to display to be open, honest and vulnerable?