One of the personal cycles of life is that our greatest strengths can become our greatest weaknesses… and through that process, become again our greatest strengths, rediscovered and stronger than before.
I think the man sitting opposite me was burned as a child…it’s only noticeable from front on – his tight cheek and the right corner of his mouth are not quite right; a little to smooth and shiny
and set to be a natural state in the context of his face. He seems a little conscious of it (he just caught me staring), but is sitting with a lovely looking middle aged woman, at whom he often smiles at, and his face is warm and genuine when he does.
Yesterday I had the chance to use the phrase “Never give up the chance to talk with a stranger” to someone who was, at the time, a stranger. (She’s not now. Her name is Mary. She is a 66 year old German woman who has returned to Thailand after 35 years, to re-experience the kingdom “without the haze of the hippy backpacker trail…” – her words – that she travelled last time she was here.
Mary and I were brought together by a forced table move at a cafe – to make way for a group of 7 enthusiastic Bangkok first time visitors. (You can always see the first time in someone’s face. It’s a rabbit-in-the-headlights constant smile, similar to when a baby first experiences soap bubbles. Naivety & blissful ignorance. Re-awakening childlike wonder in adults is definitely obe of Bangkok’s superpowers).
Mary & I, sitting separately, were asked to move and offered 2 separate tables. At which point I was provided the opportunity to use the phrase I mentioned. And Mary & I talked. For about an hour and a half.
I asked about her life. I allowed myself to exist completely in the moments of her answers as she illuminated a few pieces of her 66 years. I waited for her to continue when she paused. I pictured her crying as she told me she expected to cry on this trip, both from joy and from sadness. I felt the resonance between us as unique members of the same species when she detailed what she had learnt from travelling the world for 2 years at age 30.
I am an empath. There’s no doubt in mind that this is true. There was a time that I did doubt it, and there was a long time when I didn’t know the term and was sure I was just weak. But I’m sure now that there is a purpose.
Achieving this reaslisation has allowed me to take a more objective view of being highly sensitive to subtle emotional cues via body language, voice tone, eye expression etc.