There are times in our lives that are more staid and settled... and times when everything is new and changing... including (perhaps especially) the people we know. Whether in person or online, I am meeting new people daily.. sometimes hourly! Each introduction is as unique as the person sharing it with me. Sometimes I just take a quiet moment to reflect on these new voices in my life. I wonder about their lives, how they crossed my path, and how much of our journeys we will come to share together. There is a science of introduction. Realizing this science changes the way I look at each new person I meet.
Faces, names, voices, words, emails, business cards, Skypes, texts, faxes sometimes ricochet through our days like pin balls. It is easy, especially in an online environment, to let individual encounters blend into one another unnoticed... until many really equate to nothing. There must be filters to slow it all down... so that each encounter isn't merely bouncing off... but is a point of light... absorbed. Absorbed. For here begins the science of introduction. That one point of light... emanating from one human being... directed specifically toward you... is so significant. That solitary moment may be a beginning, an end or both... or it may be the connecting point bridging beginnings and ends... and beginnings without end.
There are introductions which are solely points of light. A solitary moment of encounter. An experience with another human being you will never encounter again. While it might be easy to view these moments as the least significant... sometimes they are the most. I have met decorated heroes, the Prime Minister of Israel, a member of the Academy of Achievement and a Pulitzer Prize nominee, traders on the New York Stock Exchange, Daytona 500 record-holders, a world-renown wolf naturalist, a gatekeeper from Columbia Records' Sinatra years, Fortune 500 CEOs, governors, presidential candidates, Olympians, Food Network stars, NY Times' bestselling authors, chart-topping musicians, Disney executives and television personalities, artists, philanthropists... all points of light. In precious momentary points of light, I've honored the fallen, reunited the child lost, reached out to the homeless and hungry, cried with the broken-hearted, listened to the aging, held hands with the dying, looked in the eyes of the forsaken, rejoiced for the adopted and shared with the seeking. The beginning and end was known in that one solitary moment... moments I wouldn't trade for gold. If we aren't wholly present in our communication with others, we will miss incredible opportunities in these encounters... including the possibility of transforming them into something more enduring.
Some introductions are the beginnings of segments in our lives... joined points, which begin with an introduction and end when our paths part ways. Some of these journeys are brief... some nearly span a lifetime. That initial point of introduction becomes a successive series of shared moments which enrich our lives with friendships, partnerships, mentors, and chosen family... valued relationships. Just when you think a journey has long-since closed, a new encounter joins where the last one waited.... sometimes for decades. This week I savored a joyful reunion rich in hugs and smiles with a childhood girlfriend I hadn't seen in twenty-seven years. That moment beautifully sidled up against the last moment we saw one other as little girls, and carried on.
Among the most treasured points of introduction are the rays of our lives... those diamonds... few and precious... to be protected at high cost... the people who will be with us to the end. We play these points of introduction over and over again in our hearts and share them with those we love. "I remember the moment we met..." The sound of a voice... the look exchanged... the words shared... we remember the moment. It was a beginning without end. A ray... the light of our lives. Enduring. Amazing.
But do you see? If we are careless with the points of light... those solitary moments... if we let them fall away... perhaps we are giving away the ray of light that was meant to shine on in our lives. We sacrifice a treasure out of carelessness... fear... uncertainty... insecurity... misunderstanding... inconvenience. A ray is nothing more than that first point, carried forward, indefinitely... easily, simply, comfortably, carried forward one exchange after another until you look back in awe... and thanksgiving.
Point. Segment. Ray. I placed these words on the board as much for reflection as for illustration. I asked my son what these things could possibly have to do with relationships. He defined each one, just as his mama has. My heart smiled. With a heart that open, that perceptive, he will both gather and cast much light along the way.
As you read these words, you have, in this moment, allowed me to share a point of light with you. May we share more. If I have exchanged thoughts with you, may we exchange more. If you see the beginning of a ray in your life, from the point that we met, may I see it, too. Priceless gem. We will journey more.
May your eyes, your hearts, your lives be open to the full luminosity of each point, each segment, each ray shining in your life... now and in the future... momentarily and infinitely.
From my heart,
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