Being Truly Helpful

August 20, 2013
Forgiveness, Jennifer Hadley

I found this coffee in a Vermont bakery - Love it!

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Yesterday I was flying from the East Coast back home to Los Angeles with a layover in Chicago and I went into one of the airport cafés to get some coffee. As you well know, I love my spiritual espresso! I ordered an iced Americano which, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is espresso with water.

The woman behind the counter seemed to have a very low energy. It’s not hard to imagine that for some folks working in an environment like that could be really challenging. I am a highly sensitive person, but fortunately, I’m not that delicate. Two of my best friends are extremely sensitive people and they’re also very delicate – everything affects them very deeply and so they tend to be a bit more reclusive than other people.

The woman making my coffee filled a cup with ice and had the espresso brew on top of it – perfect! But then she started adding hot water to it. I interrupted her and sweetly reminded her that it was an ICED Americano. She looked at me and slightly confused said, “Americano is espresso and HOT water.” To which I replied, “unless it’s ICED, in which case it’s just espresso and ice.” I was very sweet and respectful of her, and I made a point to smile.

The woman poured out the coffee and started again with the ice and then the espresso brewed on top of it. She put a lid on it and handed it to me. She apologized for making a mistake. I said, “there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t make a few mistakes – that’s how I learn!”

In that moment she smiled. In that moment, I was her sister and her friend. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration of how SHEE felt, but that’s how I felt. I was so grateful that i could find something to say that would help her to feel loved and cared for, as well as respected.

Many of a person would have and the same experience, and if they were identified with the ego, they might have made her feel small and stupid if she was also identified with the ego in that moment.

These little things mean A LOT. That is probably the only encounter I’ll have with that woman. It might just be my ONLY opportunity to be loving and kind with her. I wouldn’t like to miss that. I’ve missed more opportunities than I could ever count – millions, I’m sure. I don’t wish to miss one more. Not one. I choose to be my true self, which IS truly helpful and loving.

I invite you to live your spiritual practice in this way. To LOOK for opportunities to be loving, with no expectation and no attachment. Believe me, it’s the gift that you give to yourself!

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