Sunday, June 12, 2011

Trust30; day 13: Surprise

I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself. How will you surprise yourself this week?

Back in the early 1990's, I was working as an inside sales support rep for an international containerized freight company. It was challenging work, requiring a mix of analytical ability as well as "people" skills.

The person who was elevated to become my manager was previously a member of the sales force in the NYC area that I supported. He was an English transplant, in his late 30's, with an American wife and two beautiful small children.

And he was not happy.

I know this because there were many evenings that I spent after hours with him, becoming an emotional support for him as he vented depths of profound sadness and anger about his life, his place in the world and essentially, the utter folly and meaninglessness of it all.

I would listen at great length and when he seemed more balanced, I would share a few thoughts for him to consider. Remember that previously I mentioned that I was in the "trenches" of my own spiritual path including weekly channeling sessions in our group of friends, speaking with spirit/higher energy. This was shaping me and giving me some insights that I was able to share with this man.

What I couldn't do anything about were two of the main physical outlets that he utilized to let off steam outside of the office; he drove his cars at a high rate of speed and he drank (not that he couldn't "handle it.") He also golfed and usually played darts at English pubs but those things would involve quantities of alcohol and driving home afterwards. It was a bad combination.

In retrospect, I could feel it coming. It was just a matter of when the pain would get too great. It didn't take much longer.

Less than a year after being named manager, he exited the world in a traffic accident, leaving behind stunned co-workers and a grieving family. Instead of assisting him in the office and playing "stabilizer and sounding board," I was at his funeral in a packed assembly. Hundreds upon hundreds of people were in attendance including some of his previous UK counterparts. A deep sense of sorrow and shock was evident throughout the room.

After the minister gave his sermon, he asked if anyone would like to get up and say a few words of remembrance about this man. It was then I saw demonstrated the relativity of time; the seconds ticked by like geological eras. Nothing was moving in the warm, sunlit hall on this early summer afternoon.

"Will no one have a few words to say about him?" the minister asked once more.

I stood up. In doing so, I felt the accumulated weight of that room and all of the time that I had spent with this man, trying to assuage a depression and sorrow that was bottomless.

I stood in front of everyone and said, "I had the honor of working with him and spending a fair amount of time talking about life with him. I know there were difficulties and I know he had some misgivings about if he had made right choices. But from my heart, I can tell you that this man loved his family more than words can describe. He told me so. So if you can remember nothing else about him, smile and think about the facts that many of the choices and decisions he made, he made out of love for his wife and children."

I looked at his wife and she smiled at me. I could hear sobs from around the room. I truly do not know where the strength came from to get up and make that speech. Perhaps it was "borrowed" from beyond this mortal plane. If that is the case, then I am glad that I was able to be used in that way to deliver a message of comfort.

I have not thought of that time and place in many years until this exercise brought them up for sharing. People occasionally ask me how I can get up and speak in front of groups of various numbers and previously, how I could speak while demonstrating electronic devices on live TV.

I enjoy my profession (past and present) and we can certainly all recognize the positive power of "accumulated evidence" in our lives. But now that this memory has come back to light, I can see that all of this pales in comparison to being part of the raw emotion of the day I just described. If I could speak with clear intent under those circumstances, I believe that there isn't anywhere that I cannot do the same.

I think that I'll foster those thoughts and see what unexpected, wonderful surprises the universe presents me with this week as I travel in and around New York.


  1. Rich, what a wonderful and sensitive post. I am a fellow #trust30 writer too. This post reminded me of a similar situation where I stood up and gave speech on a funeral of one of my best friends.

    I love "If I could speak with clear intent under those circumstances, I believe that there isn't anywhere that I cannot do the same.". It is so true and I am glad to have read this today! What a surprise and wonderful to connect to that memory with only love in my heart.

    Thank you. In'Lakesh, Michi Lantz

  2. "If I could speak with clear intent under those circumstances, I believe that there isn't anywhere that I cannot do the same."

    What wonderful words.

  3. Thank you both, Michi and Abha. Im both delighted and in awe of how everything that we are all sharing is unerringly hitting the mark for those it matters the most to. Namaste.