Ever since I stepped out on faith to pursue writing full time, I have been making a point to attend events and engage in activities that add to my life in a positive way…personal development if you will. Attending workshops, seminars and expos, reading motivational books, and even meeting with people that I consider to be mentor material, has become a regular part of my schedule for the purpose of keeping myself positive, productive, and constantly immersed in the process of growth.
One night, I attended an event called “Ladies Can We Talk.” The event was hosted by motivational speaker and author Lisa Nichols as a part of her promotional tour for the Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul anthology. I invited my spiritual mentor and went in totally expecting that we would be fed a lecture style motivational speech. To my surprise it was very interactive and all of the participants added value to the experience. There was standing room only because while the organizers had anticipated 200, there were 326 in attendance including a few men.
Throughout the evening we had to do several activities with a partner. I felt like I’d been strategically placed with the exact person that I needed to connect with. Before I even knew that this woman was going to be my partner I’d noticed her. I noticed that she was very pretty and well dressed. “Now there is a woman that’s got herself together,” I thought to myself. During the activities we were told to sit face to face and knee to knee. It was slightly uncomfortable at first because we were strangers to one another, but the facilitators had warned us in advance that our comfort level would be significantly challenged.
Once we began to share deep truths about ourselves with one another I realized that my reflection had been placed before me. I was looking at my reflection literally and figuratively. This woman’s features were very similar to my own, so much so, that if we told people that we were biologically related, no one would protest or give it a second thought. It was like looking in a mirror that reflected me ten years into the future. This woman was ten years my senior, but was experiencing many of the issues that I was dealing with during that time. This outwardly beautiful and polished woman suffered from the exact same insecurities that I had. Like me, she had gotten into relationships at a very young age and somehow missed the very important developmental stages of autonomy and self efficacy. That is, knowing and loving one’s self.
I feel like I was shown what my life would be like in the future if I continued to neglect to know and love myself. I was shown how my life would be if I rushed into marriage without first engaging in a committed relationship with myself. While I don’t think that this woman or her life is bad, I know that it is not where I want to be. This was confirmed for me when she communicated to me that she didn’t want to be there either, and it was her life.
We may not always literally hear or see what we need to learn about life and ourselves, but that still small voice speaks to us through people and circumstances. I felt so connected to this woman that I had never met in my life before that day. I believe it’s safe to say that she experienced the same feeling of connection to me. I also believe that she would give anything to be in the position that I am in, where I still have the chance and the choice to change the course of my life and my thinking while I am still young. I will use the wisdom that she imparted upon me to inform my decisions and behaviors because I owe it to her, and to myself.
So pay attention to those that cross your path because they are placed there for a reason. Perhaps your mirror messenger will answer that burning question that you’ve always wanted answered. So be still and patient and surround yourself with positive energy in the meantime.