Witnessing Joy

What happens when you begin to notice the world around you? Last week, I wrote about my desire to Slowing Down and Notice the world around me.  This week, I'm sharing what happens when you do exactly that... all of a sudden you begin to see love in its purest form. 

The other day I was sitting in a doctor's office waiting room and found myself a little apprehensive and nervous. The brain is a funny thing; it remembers things by association and because of our experience of losing Adeline any doctor's appointment, any medical facility, or any test brings me right back to that moment, the one where everything went wrong.  

I could feel my heart begin to race, tears welled up in my eyes, and my mind drifted to a sad, sad place. 

I sat with those feelings for a moment, hoping I'd be able to keep it together just long enough that others wouldn't notice. At that exact moment a commotion ensued to my left, distracting me from my thoughts. 

An elderly lady, walking with a cane, approached another lady who was seated in front of a TV, apparently waiting for her husband to return from some test. The lady with the cane asked if anyone was sitting in the seat next to her and she politely responded, “Yes, my husband is, but he’s back with the doctor so you can certainly sit here.  In fact, I’ll move over one so you can sit here." 

It wasn’t five minutes later that these two were chatting each other up as if they were life-long friends and were catching up after not seeing each other for months. 

They started to discover they had mutual friends, shared similar religious beliefs, and experienced comparable family circumstances. One's husband had recently passed away from cancer; the other was with her husband, who also had cancer, waiting for a test result. One complimented the other on her shoes; the other excitedly replied, “Let me get your phone number, and the next time I find them I’ll buy them for you.” 

Now remember, these were two total strangers, who'd just met in that doctor's office moments before. They shared with each other intimate details of their lives and exchanged phone numbers.

When I was young, I was told over and over, "Don't talk to strangers." I know my parents were only trying to protect me; however, today I wonder if I’ve been living within a protective bubble all my life?  Have I missed out on the joys of meeting new people and experiencing the joy of new interactions all in an effort to protect myself from the "scary" people in this world?

Some people may tell you this world is full of anger and hate. They will tell you to avoid talking to strangers because if you do you might get hurt. 

What if we break all the rules and take a leap of faith that the majority of people out there are good and have pure intentions.  Might we find love on the other end of that conversation? 

Is it worth the risk?

Now let me state, I’m not oblivious to reality. I know there are people in this world who exude hate, exploit others, and feed on fear. 

However, I choose to believe there’s more love in this world than hate.

When you slow down and start noticing the world around you, all of a sudden you begin to see beautiful moments that restore your faith in this world and in human nature.  Oh, and those moments where you've stopped to notice the world coincidentally might also be perfectly timed so that you don't break down crying in the middle of a doctor's office waiting room or just when you exactly needed a little reminder to smile and to feel joy.  I don’t know if those two ladies will ever see each other again; however, I have a sneaking suspicion they just might... 

Cheers to witnessing joy, friends. 

Does life feel out of control? Do you feel overwhelmed and anxious? Check out this free guide on How to Calm the Chaos After Loss.