The Tribute-A Spiritual Short Story

Cynthia Higgins, MD
Originally Published 3/2019 on Joy to Our World Website

You begin your day like any other. Rising from your bed, the weight of apprehension lies heavily upon your chest while the wisps of half-remembered dreams seem to float away the moment you try to bring them into focus. In your spiritual awakening, you have traveled in your sleep but you don’t quit know where you’ve gone or what it all means. You’re worried about everything. What will it be like when you have to face them again? How much of your vital life energy will be taken in the course of this day?

You know, though, that something is different about you. Everything in your life seems to be changing or intensifying. There’s those darn numbers that keep repeating themselves everywhere you go. Billboards seem to be purposefully designed just for you and perfect strangers just happen to be within earshot, speaking about everything you find meaningful. You no longer recognize the person staring back at you from the mirror. It isn’t the first time you’ve questioned whether you need some serious help. You can’t help but wonder if you swallowed both the red AND the blue pills. Life simply was not supposed to be like this. Flustered, frustrated, you zipper up your emotions in Vulcan-like fashion and step boldly out into the world. It is Monday, after all, and you have a lot of work to do.

You have gone a mere 3 feet from your doorstep when you become bombarded by the dense, frantic energy of your morning commute. That is when you see her, somehow resplendent in her uneven attire of several styles and several days’ use. Her coarse features seem somehow incongruent with the delicateness of her frame, as much as the mottled gray of her hair speaks to the weathering of a body well before its time. What remains of her shoes doesn’t quite fit, yet she is peacefully composed as she gazes from within her cardboard tent, smiling like a spectator at a sporting event.

The instant your eyes meet, you sense something special is taking place. You experience a fleeting moment of panic as you feel the defenses you’ve spent a lifetime building begin to falter. Shield integrity is at 30% and falling. Your rational mind races for an explanation, even as a warmth begins to spread through your solar plexus that has nothing to do with the day’s heat. Suddenly, in the stillness that follows, there is no separation between you and this intriguing woman. Although you question whether your heart might physically explode form the immense love being poured into it, you cannot break away. There is no length to which you wouldn’t go, no sacrifice you wouldn’t make to have this incredible oneness ever present in your life. Time itself seems to stand still.

Your life is recreated before you: the joys, yes, but also every perception of unworthiness, self-doubt and mistrust; those moments when you wanted more but somehow settled for less; times when you failed to act on an opportunity because you feared your own greatness (Just who do you think you are? How dare you be successful) You count the years you shouldered the burden of emotions and conditions not your own and the self-torture regarding people long gone from your life. Present as well, are the moments you felt no one stood with you and times you thought you’d expire from the rend in your heart. Those episodes of rage and helplessness you found too difficult to release lie buried beneath the dross of useless belongings collected as offerings to a soul whose nature, you have forgotten, has no attachment or fear.

Having outlived their usefulness, a space has been held open for you, in which to deposit and clear, if you wish, each of these toxic things. You willingly release them. Then as quickly as it began, the moment is over. Beautiful and breathtaking, the Angel of Compassion collects her belongings, folds her cardboard tent and neatly places it beneath one arm. Rays of sunlight bend around her and blend with the iridescence of her magnificent wings. As she makes her way towards he subway, doves trailing in her wake, she smiles at you once more. You are not only free to live the life you dreamed, you have been given a rare and precious gift; to see her and yourself as you truly are.