Changed For Good Jan15

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Changed For Good

Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
Because I knew you, I have been changed for good”

For Good – Lyrics from the musical Wicked

As a child I frequented the shopping mall with my great-grandmother who, at the time, was just over 90 years old.  Mother of seven children, grandmother, and great-grandmother to what seemed to be a small village; she was a quiet, loving and patient woman in whose eyes no one did wrong. During our mall outings, we both would find a seat near the front of a major retail store, and watch people go by.  My granny, Mami-vieji, as I nicknamed her due to her old age, seldom commented anything about others with the exception of praise for a passing stranger. I never understood how she could grasp at someone’s good will, brilliance, humility or inner joy by merely watching him or her go by. Somehow, there was an intrinsic gravitational pull between her vibrational state and that of those she felt attracted to.  As time went on, I learned to pick up on the cues she seemingly transmitted by osmosis and learned to recognize those same qualities in others, as they also passed before me. Mami-vieji passed away in 1971, when I was 10 years of age, but she passed onto me her art of looking into others.  The more I look into others, the more I see my reflection; the more I see my reflection, the more I turn to look into others.

I tell this story because it is terribly saddening to me seeing that there is so much human disparity in this world, yet we fail to see the vast goodness permeating through “the veil” right before our eyes. My sense is that when we fail to see the goodness within ourselves, we tend to search for the missing piece somewhere outside of our self.  Not finding it “out there”, wherever “out there” may be, brings us great dissatisfaction. When we reach the peak of that dreadful state of discontent, we become completely blinded from reality. Once our perception of reality has “left the building” we then seek other methods to stuff the void, creating even greater distance between us, and the goose laying golden eggs within our heart.

How cool would it be if instead of nitpicking others to death we could stand back and see what we share in common? A good friend once said to me “You know, we all put our pants on the same way, one leg at a time”. I will never forget her very casual and fearless demeanor as she vocalized this statement. In spite of how simply it was stated, it was marvelously profound. Every time I have the smallest inkling that I am any less than anyone else, I think of my friend and her colloquial words of wisdom. Not only do they make my limiting thoughts dissipate, but they also boost my strength to move forward with the same degree of fearlessness.

Although these two women who touched my life had opposing personalities, they both left their “handprint on my heart”.  My great-grandmother’s legacy of love and respect for others will forever be with me, while my friend’s gift of words accompanies me every time I encounter someone new.  People come and go throughout our journey; it is part of the natural ebb and flow of life. It is my belief however; that we all have had similar contributions made by others, and it is simply a matter of taking notice.  Look closely at what might have been forgotten, buried deep beneath the “dirty laundry”, and aim to find that single infallible memory just waiting to be examined. In this era when cynicism is prevalent, find a way to see yourself mirrored by the light of those who can promote change, bringing out the glory in you.