Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lost in Thought

I wandered the mall today, in search of the perfect Christmas presents for the people in my life. I was lost in my own thoughts, and was aware -- but also unaware -- of the people around me.

As you do in a crowd, I suppose.

As I walked by this man, my eyes focused for a moment on his face and was startled to find him searching out eye contact, a goodnatured smile on his face.

Why the smile?  I don't know.

Because my hair is purple?
Because my T-shirt was a replica of the opening credits to Star Wars?
Because I was having an imaginary conversation in my head and my face was contorted into odd expressions (as my children say I do when engrossed in thought)?

Who knows... and I suppose it doesn't really matter.

I nodded and smiled back at him and walked on my way.  

But the moment made me stop. I hadn't been startled to find him smiling at me. I was startled because until that split-second, I hadn't seen him.

So lost within myself, I hadn't seen anyone -- and that isn't like me. So I took a second and reminded myself to be present. To see the people around me. To make eye contact. To nod. To smile. To find little moments of commonality.

They are small, I know. Those moments. If I stayed lost in myself, it wouldn't change anyone's day.

But I do believe that we all have power in those little moments to do just that. To create a life of little connections that spread outward and we have the potential to become a life that centers around making others feel seen.

I think that's important.

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