The Stranger | Restoration of Self

We all know that some relationships end badly.
When they do, it’s never fun… never easy.

You end up feeling angry, betrayed, lost… and in the worst case, feeling lower than low. Self-esteem below zero.
Just great.

I’ve been crushed recently – and am still dealing with the aftermath.
Still recovering.
Life hasn’t been easy – regrouping after taking a tumble… I’ve had my hands full piecing myself back together.
I won’t lie and say that my self-esteem didn’t take a beating.
It did.
For a while, I was so small… almost non-existent.

Since I always get caught up in my mind’s treadmill (thinking everything over until all my thoughts flow together and result in a gooey mush), I can’t just move on and not try to find the faults in my own actions… or, in my own being. I tend to degrade myself – and do so easily.

When least expected, the world tends to surprise us.

I just got back from a little vacation in a beautiful country.
Sun, sea, wind… lots of advantages to free my mind and get rid of burdens.
Of course I took my notepad with me – in case I would have any ideas, which I was sure would happen.
Today, I found that notebook, still packed away in a sidepocket of my suitcase.
I hadn’t written one single word while being away.
My mind took some time off… and it was well deserved.

I stayed at a beautiful little hotel. Nothing fancy, something local and cozy.
One morning, an old man stepped up to me while I was getting my breakfast at the buffet.
He looked at me.
I smiled at him and told him “Good Morning”.
He kept looking at me.
After a little while (a moment or two before things could get awkward), he gave me a brief smile and said, “Thank you.”
I was a bit baffled and asked him why he would thank me.
He told me he wanted to thank me for being such an imposing character.
I must have stared at him unbelieving, for he started to laugh a little… then he told me:
“I’ve watched you for several days now. Every morning, you come in here with a smile… share it with the people around you, greet every single person who comes close to you with a twinkle in your eye. While most of us look at our plates and mind our own business, you’reĀ out there, spreading your joyous personality. You’re charming. You have a great Aura. Never lose it.
Thank you.”
After that, he winked at me and walked off.

I stood there, plate in hand, dumbfounded.
I couldn’t really grasp what had just happened.

What this man said to me triggered something. I wanted to cry because the words he had said were so beautiful – and they were meant for me.
Only for me.

I guess sometimes, we’re too caught up in our minds’ webs. Our own expectations and struggles blind us, make us immobile. We can no longer see how we are… how other people see us.

The words he said to me shook me out of my stupor… showed me, that I am taller than I think I am.

I never found out who he was – after that morning, I never saw him again.

I will always be thankful for what he gave me.
With his words, he flipped a switch in me… and resurrected my self-esteem.