Many years ago as a young adult I received a profound message. In an image that felt as real as sitting here writing these words, I was standing in the center of an impressive round stage, constructed of slatted wood, with hundreds of empty theater chairs all around. I found myself feeling as though a momentous event was about to occur. A ceaseless, bright light shone down on me directly from above, leaving the remaining stage in darkness, silence filling the vacant seats. I didn’t feel alone but with no understanding as to why.
When my mind tried to concentrate on the imminent outcome a light shone on someone standing at the edge of the circular stage facing toward the center—toward me. As my focus cleared I could see a treasured friend from my teen years whom I had missed terribly. A smile formed on my lips and my facial muscles relaxed as I looked into the loving eyes of my long-lost companion.
Just as quickly as it shone on this friend, the light moved to another individual standing on the stage’s perimeter looking toward me. Love again filled my heart as my eyes perceived a young childhood friend peering back at me, smiling, imbuing me with grand memories.
Over and over the light moved from one to another: friends from the past, the present as an adult, and the future with those whom I was yet to meet. Each one brought me an immeasurable joy until my eyes landed on a woman with whom I had currently worked and disliked intensely. The feeling of peace and joyfulness was shattered and immediately I asked Guidance, “Why is she here? I love all the others but I don’t love her! I don’t even like her!” Insulted and angry, I couldn’t understand why she dared stand with those whom I shared fond memories.
Something compelled me to look into her eyes which were staring intently at me with a softness I hadn’t expected. She had been a cruel woman who tricked me into believing she was a friend only to address me later in a callous, heartless, and dispassionate manner. While my mind was trying to decipher what was happening, she placed her hands together, fingers pointed upward, palm touching palm, in a Namaste position (taught to me as a sign that the “God in me sees the God in you”). She then bowed her head, tilted it upward with a sideways glance, and winked, as if to say, “I’m honored to have served you in this lifetime. I agreed to be the dreadful person in your life so that you could learn. Thank you for this privilege.” Flabbergasted, I stared at her, understanding the profundity of these words that formulated in my mind as if she telepathically shared them with one wink of an eye.
Shaking me out of the momentary pause, the light continued to circle the stage’s perimeter, each time shining on a loved one until again it landed on someone else whom I strongly disliked. I didn’t need a wink and Namaste to remind me of how this relationship fulfilled some preordained lesson.
There’s no telling how long this insightful incident took place (a moment, an hour, a day) but its impact has lasted a lifetime.
Relationships are all like this experience. We learn through love and we learn to love. By no means am I an expert on relationships that hold various forms of love, like, and dislike. I only know that I continue to learn and understand that forgiveness for the difficult relationships is the key. I’m thankful that Guidance shared this wisdom with me and I hold this lesson close to my heart, hoping to remember it on a daily basis.