Sharing my blog today with …Cherie Speaks: Motivational Speaking
Valentine’s Day means different things to different people. For some, it’s a romantic dinner out and flowers… for some, it’s just another day, as they vow to be romantic 365 days a year and not just one… for my nieces, it’s construction paper hearts and candies with words on them.
But for some people, it’s an awful reminder of loneliness: the widow who stares at the empty chair across the table, the soldier desperately wishing to get back to his or her spouse at home, the kid at school who doesn’t have any cards to collect because no one included him, the person who just went through a terrible break up, or who is reminded of his or her perpetual singleness. Loneliness is an awful feeling.
Years ago, I was going through a very difficult time… something was weighing heavily on me that I didn’t know how to fix, and didn’t know who to turn to. I was keeping things bottled up and pretending everything was fine, but I felt incredibly alone- until I finally broke down in a public restroom stall and cried my eyes out. A woman came into the bathroom and heard me.
Embarrassed, I tried to quickly stifle my tears when I heard her say, “I’m so sorry. I don’t know what you’re going through, and you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. You don’t even know me, and I realize that. I just want you to know that I am SO sorry.” That was it. She paused for a few seconds and then left the bathroom.
I never even saw her face, and yet… I remember her to this day. In that moment, I was no longer alone. We can make the world a little less lonely for so many if we extend ourselves just a little. A simple smile and hello to the people you pass, an offer of help to the person who can’t reach the top shelf, or whatever… Sometimes it takes only a few seconds to change someone’s day and let them know they’re not alone.