The meeting occurred for only five minutes. It turned out to be a meeting of souls. I was in a seminar, and the most outrageous character walked in. Everyone was awed. I was intrigued. I usually hate what I see when reading past what an outward persona is projecting. This man, who had walked many miles of treacherous paths to get to our meeting, projected that he dare not be approached haphazardly. He was loud, appeared to be very offensive, although I found myself chuckling at his delivery of word magic.

What I saw, in that five minutes, only drew me into the connection irresistibly, was a soft and pure heart that hid behind this boisterous, and calculatedly incorrigible exterior.

At a later time, the two of us were sitting in a restaurant, and he made a paper rose out of a napkin, and gave it to our waitress. I don’t remember how it came out, but he revealed that his dad “beat him”, and at this instant, I saw a little boy sitting in front of me. The compassionate core of my being wanted to hold him and cry with him. But this man was without the ability to be in a space of vulnerability, least of all with me. I told him that I saw this side of him, and I think it shook him, but he didn’t approach similar ground of allowance to discuss it further, so I yielded to his choice.

I never lost the image. I allowed him to be loud, over-the-top, and even violently angry (without harming anyone, to my observance), and yet from that point on, I only saw that little boy that didn’t know unconditional love as a core gift. I gave it to him anyway, in my own way of allowance.

Water goes under the bridge. People arrive, and they leave our lives, and what is left behind is our experience. This man, my teacher, had and has a pure heart, surrounded with glued together and broken shell. (Perhaps just like you, the reader.) I am honored to have walked with him a mile or more.

Last night I dreamed a dream that he was in. It made me realize the value of having spent quality time with him. Most everything is a benefit, if it is observed to be.