On a cold and wet November evening whilst posting a letter, I was approached by a young man. He smiled and pointed to his ears to show me he had no hearing ability and I observed his movements without any sense of concern despite being a lone female on a dark road. He then handed me a piece of paper to read.
I put my glasses on and read the note as he stood before me and I could feel an urgency he was trying to convey. But as I stood still and read the note, I realised it was at odds with what I felt in him.
Here was a beautiful being, standing face to face with me without any sense of aggression or emotion and yet the note could be felt quite clearly to be asking for something much deeper. I heard myself saying ‘no’ as he mouthed his need for money to get home, but at the same time felt something exquisite within me saying ‘yes’ to opening my heart to this person I had never before met.
To stand and feel these two elements very much at odds: the beautiful being and the letter were like observing two distinct and opposing factions.
I felt no judgement toward him as a person since he presented this beauty from within, which we all are, and the behaviour was simply a coat to be worn when the choice was made to cover up that innate essence that we all share. The irony here being that we choose these protective behaviours in an attempt to not get hurt, but in the end, we are hurt by the lack of connection it fosters.
Despite his gesticulations, I repeated ‘No’ to his request and the clarity with which it came allowed him to surrender to his own deeper wisdom. The young man placed his hand on his heart, mouthing he understood and then threw his arms wide asking for a hug. So there we were standing in the street, two strangers hugging, bringing a gorgeous warmth to a damp and dreary November evening. There was no part of me that held back from that hug and I felt his body melt into my arms.
So whilst perhaps his outward approach was to ask for money, in fact, I felt, he, like all of us, deep down simply wanted to be truly met. In the moment we embraced, I felt a deep connection with a warm glow in my heart and felt fuller for the experience as we each turned and walked away. By uniting in this way, I feel we are offering this quality to other people in our lives – a true enrichment that goes beyond any monetary value and is, in fact, priceless.
By Judy, Personal Funeral Advisor, Oxford