“Hello! Here is a little information about my latest book.” Grasping to a bookmark about my latest book I reach out to a passerby, extending my arm, my life, my vulnerability.
“No, I am not interested!” Was the reply from this guy who didn’t even break his gaze to acknowledge me.
Crap! The heck with you! I roar to myself. My heart sinks, deep. The mosh pit of my mind starts raging. People are passing me by. They’re not talking to me about my book. What am I doing here? This is not working. This is a waste of my time. Thoughts were moshing around the pit of my mind. Ahhh! Crap!
I stay and remain resolute, but need a quick break. “Time for a quick bathroom break,” I mutter to myself. I walk away from trying so hard and, instead, move toward allowing myself to flow into simply being. I stroll to the restroom away from the scene allowing myself the opportunity to reframe. I feel better
On my way back I walk between the corridors of shelves lined with hundreds of books. At the end of one of the corridors I take a right-hand turn. This takes me toward the Customer Service desk which lies in the center of the store. It is like one of those traffic circles in the middle of town allowing traffic to easily flow through. Yielding to oncoming customers I navigate around the Customer Service desk back into the flow.
Realizing that I am grasping on to remnants of frustration from the ”No. I am not interested!” guy, my bruised ego is looking for a fight. Up ahead I see this young man with a few friends heading in my direction. My wounded ego wants to redeem itself by having me remain ‘in my lane’ and not yield to this man.
The closer I get the bigger he appears. Do not allow his presence intimidate you. I hear my ego barking commands. Okay. This is silly. You are just pissed off at being rejected by the “No. I am not interested!” guy. He was not ready to receive your story. Sound familiar? That was you a long time ago, resistant to everyone and everything. No matter how people tried to connect with you, you pushed them away. Just stop it and let these people pass!
Like an 18-wheeler rumbling down the freeway at full throttle this powerful looking guy and his friends blew past me. I felt a gust shake me as they roared by, but I still remained on my path. Wow! That dude was a monster. I don’t think I will be talking to him about my book. He would probably laugh at me and squash me. I thought to myself as I ventured back to my table. Whew! I was spared!
A dozen or more minutes pass me by until I see the man who roared past me now standing across the walkway from me. He is as large as life and talking to the store manager who is an angel; always smiling and a delight to talk to.
I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation as she spoke with this man about love, about relationships, about anger and frustration. Huh? What! Did she read my book? Oh my gosh, she is amazing. I thought to myself.
When I snapped out of my daydream I found myself across the aisle, away from my table and standing directly in front of this man! Oops! What the heck am I doing? This guy is going to squash me like a bug.
My thoughts do not deter me though and for some reason I find myself extending a hand in greeting. “Hey! I apologize for intruding, but I couldn’t help overhear your conversation. My name is Tom Corner. I am here for a book signing today. I think this is something you might want to read….”
I sensed his energy of strength and felt it, as his hand enveloped mine in greeting. “What’s it about?” He asked. I proceeded to share my story about the struggles with anger and self-destruction to ultimately find my true strength in love and acceptance.
“Wow! I woke up this morning and for some reason I felt compelled to come here today,” he replied. “A couple weeks ago I had an experience similar to the one you just described.”
“Well, I believe things happen for a reason,” I replied. “By the way, I own that book you have in your hand. It’s a good one.” He held onto Mark Manson’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck. The title itself screams “Pick me up!”
Then his girlfriend walked over, “Hey baby, you’ve got to hear this guy’s story,” he said enthusiastically. “Can you tell her what you just told me? She has to hear this. This is amazing!” He excitedly commented as though he had just won the lottery (of life).
I proceeded to tell my story again and in that moment I knew I was intended to speak with this man. “Hey! Come over to my table. I’d like to give you something.” We walked back to the table where my books were on display. “I bought a copy to support the bookstore and hoped to give it to someone as a gift. I would like you to have this.” I handed my book to him.
“Yes, I think my story will resonate with you,” I spoke some more about the book and he reflected on his current situation.
“Thank you. This is amazing! I could give you a hug.”
“Come on over!” Unafraid, I walked around the side of the table to hug this man.
“This is great. I could use this book,” commented his friend, who’s presence was just as powerful. “I have to read this!!”
After momentarily allowing my ego to misinterpret the encounter with the “No, I am not interested!” guy I shifted my wrong perception back to the truth of love and acceptance. This allowed the enlightening conversation with this man and his friends to arise.
Through my eyes I initially saw a very strong and confident individual, even intimidating. Yet, when I approached him, I approached him with an energy of love. He was seeking answers and a way to see clearly through clouds of anger, rage and doubt.
I leave you with this question to ponder: Was what happened that day another coincidence? Was it a coincidence that a group of strangers became one? (My previous blog article: Four Strangers Become One. Coincidence?)
Thank you for your belief and your love.
P.S. After my amazing encounter with my new friends something in my book called to me. The following lines are from Chapter One: My Year of Enlightenment. Enjoy.
“Before you read any further, I ask that you pick up this book, pull it to your chest, and hold it close to your heart. Wrap your arms around the cover as though you were hugging a loved one. If you feel resistance or embarrassment about the foolishness of this exercise, do it anyway. Your resistance and embarrassment are fear in disguise.”