I doubt that the gentleman who said that to me knew what he was actually saying about my life.
It happened in Walmart a couple of days ago. I was standing in a line that wasn't moving because the cashier was too busy conversing (with her hands) with the customer she should have been checking out.
The next line over was moving, slowly but surely.
I've noticed that whichever line I am standing in just happens to be the slowest in the store; yet it never fails that if I move to another line, it instantly becomes the slowest moving line in the store. So, I stayed my happy ass right where it was, thinking murderous thoughts about this cashier who wasn't doing her job.
I stood there, trying to smile (or at least trying not to erupt in blind rage at this damned cashier) because I might be the only NA Basic Text that someone ever sees.
And what would it say about 12-step recovery if me and my NA tattoo were standing there acting like a fucking donkey in public, when in reality I am powerless over cashiers who aren't doing their jobs?
I'd gone in to pick up water hoses, because when you live in an RV and the water hose explodes, there is no flushing the toilet.
There I stood, holding my water hoses, for all this time; while the cashier talked with her hands instead of doing her job. I watched the people around me because people fascinate me.
In that next line over, I noticed a mature man and his wife. He was on oxygen; she was on the phone, asking the person on the other end, "Didn't you check Facebook?" The man was holding three items, waiting patiently and trying to smile, just as I was.
Some time later, my line still hadn't moved. The guy on oxygen had finally gotten to the register and placed his stuff on the conveyor. He looked over at me and told me to cut in front of him. He said to me: "You've carried that burden long enough."
Could he see into my soul? Could he read my thoughts?
Here I was, trying to at least act spiritual and appear to have all this patience, while in my mind I was dismembering the cashier and removing her hide.
I almost cried, y'all. And not because my arms were that tired from holding those water hoses.
Because this man had spoken such a great truth about my life before I found NA, and before I found The Band.
This man, with his act of kindness and his innocent words, had triggered an avalanche of emotions, mostly good ones.
Gratitude, for starters.
Gratitude for this man's act of kindness. Gratitude for the ways my life is different today. Gratitude that I don't carry those same burdens today.
This man, and his random act of kindness, changed my perspective and my attitude. The weird hours I'll be working this weekend, those annoying questions I'm answering about the eighth step of Narcotics Anonymous, that dumbass cashier who was using her hands for conversation instead of her job - all of these worries just fell away.
I am grateful to that man today. (We'll see how long this gratitude lasts. I'm only human, after all.)
He reminded me that today, I don't have good days or bad days. What I have are days; what makes a day "good" or "bad" is my attitude about it.
He reminded me of all the burdens I carried for so long, those burdens that I don't carry any more. He reminded me that when I do have a burden today I don't have to carry it alone.
He reminded me that "We are none of us alone. We are all connected."
I carried my burdens long enough. I don't have to carry them alone anymore.
If that man only knew how profound his words were, how profound their effect on me.
Thank you, sir, for your random act of kindness. Thank you for giving me an attitude adjustment. Thank you for helping me have a "good" day.16 Comments