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Listen closely, look deeply and open your heart to the possibilities in life

Sometimes you just have to listen closely, look deeply and open your heart to the possibilities in life. It was an especially difficult day. I was confused, hurt and angry all listen-closely1at once. Somewhere I was tiring of fighting the odds. I was close to feeling defeated which is not a natural state for me as I am one person who will find the 0.1% possibility and build on it. And in walked a person who I have known just for a few days and as the sun set in the sky, she told me her story. Her parents died when she was a teenager and she was left with the responsibility of raising five young siblings and no money even for the rented roof over their heads. Life hadn’t been easy even before, but now it was her fight completely… a fight to survive in an often unforgiving and indifferent world. I always felt there was something different about her but I saw her now with altogether new eyes… with respect for her journey, with empathy for her pain and lost childhood… and in that moment I found a rekindling of the fight within me. And it brought to life a quote that I have held close to my heart: At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.

Pain is part of life. And there isn’t much in the world that is more painful than the feeling of loss, abandonment, betrayal. Some scars in life are such that you are never the same again. The choice – I have learnt – at that point is to either allow it to completely break you or to gather the pain and command it to fight to make things better. You can either replay the pain in your mind over and over again, or you can accept it and find a higher meaning in it… the choice to start over and the ability to transcend the odds. It’s very important to remember that we always have a choice even though it may not seem like it at the time.

Life is a privilege and I have with passing time understood what this truly means. How little of it we have and how little we actually live. I have been fortunate to have people in my life from whom I have learnt to live a little more richly, do a little more than is needed, walk the extra mile when necessary, to listen without judgment, to do without fear, to allow things to pass, to open my heart to the unknown… to know wonder, happiness and compassion… and to never give in.