Darkness to Light, a Gas Station Story – One Message Away

This isn’t the exact scene or the place, but it is the repetition where my mind goes to replay.   It was actually dark and rainy.  I had just pulled in on empty.  I was on my way home from a typical day with my mind sifting through recent news about some virus that was going around.   What was I going to do about a shut down?  I had just opened my shop roughly a month ago.

 
As I stood there fueling my mind with how I was going to address this, a young woman stepped out of her car next to mine and meekly asked if I had any change.  Change, I thought… we could all use some of that right now.  “No”, I replied. 
 
“Wait,” I thought, as I saw her cringed expression.  
 
My first reaction came from perspectives that had been placed in my head previously, comments from others, news, worries of safety… “Homeless people.. they need to get a job.”  “If we take care of them, we only help them be lazy.”  “They’re so dirty”  “Be careful, don’t talk to strangers”… etc etc….   Although I have never fully agreed with many of these comments, hearing them before did instigate an instinctive reaction in me.  I knew better, and deep inside it stirred me.
 
My heart knew something about this moment was different, and I could not ignore.  I walked over and tapped on her drenched window. She looked up at me with fearful tears in her eyes. 
 
At that moment, my mind flashed back to all the times in my life when I had questions, when I needed change.    I’ve been Lindsay.  I’ve sat in my car questioning how I would accomplish my goals, who I would turn to, or where the answers would come.  I’ve felt alone.  I’ve had negative words and circumstances planted in my mind.  Maybe you have also.
 
Through the years, I have learned to accept change, to adapt, and to ask.  I also have received positive insight.  We all have strengths and insight from experience.  What have you overcome?  Or what questions do you still have?   
 
I am simply your everyday woman who has chosen to believe  that despite questions or unknown circumstances, there are answers.  There are people willing to help.  I have always appreciated those who have helped me.   Sometimes we just need to encouragement to step out, or a friendly response with a listening ear.
 
I design custom clothing and provide boutique fashion for women.  But my passion  is community.  A place where women  stand together comfortably, without judgement, to ask, to answer, to believe in each other, to find or give resources that inspire professional and personal growth.   
 
Lindsay had a pressing career decision to make that evening, and shared that she had someone close to her speaking doubt and insecurity over her in regard.  She also shared that she had no on to turn to who she felt she could trust to talk about it with.  Yet she chose me, a complete stranger.  I was the one meant to speak strength into her that evening.  I resonated with her fears that evening.  Having lost my father and brother who were the business counsel I resorted to often,  I understood the place of having questions, wondering the best answers.  
 
 I love to share stories of business owners and how their journey began or their passion for doing what they do on my podcast, Express Light.  Business owners face a lot of new circumstances, and it can be a lonely venture deciding the right answers.  In listening to the podcast, you may hear a simple spark of an idea, or helpful tip, or warm hearted story.  My hope is that it encourages you further in your own passion.
 
After I filled Lindsays tank that evening, we exchanged numbers.  I shared with her that I am only a message away anytime she wants to connect.  A week later, I received a text from her saying “You have no idea how much your words helped me that evening.”  My words?  They were the fuel she needed in that moment.
I can’t help but think of the opportunity I would have missed had I not taken the initiative to notice the moment in front of me.  It was simply an ordinary evening.  It wasn’t like something popped up to say, “This is a special moment.  Pay attention.  Take the time.”  I simply opened my mind to see more, see the need, and I didn’t pass it by.  I share this true story to say, don’t lose the moment in front of you.  They pass so quickly, and you just never know where a simple conversation will lead.  Lindsay taught me a lot that evening through her courage to step forward and simply ask for the help she needed.  Although I didn’t provide specific advice, for we each should make our own choices,  I was a listening ear in that moment.  I was a positive voice at a moment when she needed it most.
 
We’ve since kept in touch, and most recently she referred to that evening as “being a very dark place” in her life.  She is doing very well now.   I venture to say it is because she had the boldness to express herself.   What a light she was in my life that night.
 
Do you have the resources or kind words another woman may need?  Are you looking for the right words to complement your style or life, or to empower you to feel confident in your decisions?   Follow.  Share with a friend.  Let’s stay connected, share resources, stories, passions.  Let’s empower one another to fashion a better, more meaningful life.   Fashion is fun, but friendship is a fortune.
 
The answer you or I may need is only one message away.
Marilee

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