I have always believed in the power of sharing your story and owning your truth. I was reminded how sometimes simply sharing your experience can connect you with someone else for a profound moment. Seeing as it was Women’s Day today it seemed fitting to share this story.
At the expo I did in Joburg with Carle I had the following experience. I was chatting to a lady about crocheting socks, she was a vendor at a stall a couple down from us. As we were chatting I overheard 2 of the other ladies saying “not that I will ever get married again, but if I do this is such a nice idea” – she was paging through a magazine. I never saw what she was talking about, but being a bit of a big mouth, I could not help but pipe up “I also said I would never get married again and now I am” She looked at me as if to say; Yes, but you don’t know where I have come from. She then said “can I ask you something personal, why do you have pink hair”. I told her that after my disastrous marriage I came out having lost who I was, and very very sad. The pink hair was the road to finding myself. It made me happy and it reminded me to never again forget who I was or let it get changed or buried by someone else. To be true to myself, even if that person was a bit odd and quirky. She said something like it was lovely and rather brave. We small talked a bit and then I had to go back to our stall.
Later just before I was leaving for the airport she called me over and she said “I just wanted to say that I really admire you, you came out of your bad marriage with pink hair and I came out fat” I looked into her eyes and could see the pain as clearly as if it it had been freshly carved into her soul, yet there were layers of hurt from years of pain. I just said “You are a strong and beautiful woman and you can find the person lost inside again – it will get better” There was a connection and moment when time stood still and I just held her eyes and tried to send as much love as I could. I was then called to leave and the moment was over. I hope she believed me, I hope she knows how special and valuable she is as a person, worthy of great love. I saw someone who believed she would never marry again as she had been so torn down, she did not see herself as able to find someone to love her for who she was. I hope she finds that someone, but most of all I hope there are more women on her journey willing to share their stories that might help her heal.
I hope I touched her life in a small way because she touched mine, she connected with me and gave me a piece of her hurting soul that I will carry with me. I hope I gave her a piece of my vision that it can be better and that it lightened her load a little.
Someone once told me he did not want to love again because each person he loved he gave a piece of his heart to and felt like soon there would be nothing to give anymore. I think he missed the point or maybe I remember his point wrong. I feel different, I feel that we have to give pieces of our heart and soul away so that we can receive pieces back. These help us see the world through experiences different to our own. I know he was talking about a girlfriend, but when you fear connection, be it in a relationship or in a brief encounter with a stranger, I think you lose the chance to change your life and theirs. Not all people were supposed to stay in our lives for long, some are just a passing encounter. We only have to be open to looking past the masks we all wear and seeing the soul.
This is not a pat me on the back kind of story, see how great I am for connecting with someone. It is to show that sometimes we don’t know how powerful sharing our story can be and how much it can touch someone else’s life. Being able to feel like we are not alone in our experiences, is often what we need to find a way through them. I have had those who have inspired and shared with me that have made my road easier and to each of them I say thank you.