Cheryl's Blog

Let me tell you a story

I was almost finished packing when the text chime on my phone interrupted my train of thought – a much-needed blessing. While I filled my suitcase with clothes, I was busy filling my mind with worries. Would there be traffic on the way to the airport? Will the flight be on time? Did I make a mistake agreeing to speak at Ileen’s memorial service? Was it too late to graciously bow out?

When I picked up my phone, I saw the words: Social Story Time!, a message from my friend Beth, and I knew exactly what she meant. So, I sat down to read her text, noting the synchronicity of her timing. Beth was about to rescript the story playing in my head. Here’s what she wrote:

“Imagine every person who you have helped over the years. Imagine that collective energy and love coming back to you in a gentle, caring, kind, sweet loving way. Your own love is boomeranging back to you, and along the way it has picked up the goodness and nurturing that others want to share with you. There’s a bubble of compassion and generosity around you. It rejects negativity and it envelopes generosity from sprites, angels, goddesses who are looking to support you. A flight attendant woke up this morning hoping to care for you. A pilot woke up ready to guide you to London. London woke up this morning with the imprint of Ileen. And that golden thread (that connects us all)? It has been there since before you met Ileen in bodily presence and it will be there always. When you feel yourself struggling know the thread is there. Ileen’s love is immense and she always wanted to share it with you. She still does. Her love for others was an invitation for you to love them, too, in the same way I loved Ileen the moment you came into my life. That’s the thread: you and Ileen sistered in private love, in global love, in shared love, in generous love. Soul family. And guess what else!? You get to have any feelings you want free from judgment. Sadness: I see you! Fear: Oh, hello! Anger: Thank you, little rascal! Annoyance: Welcome back.

Grab for the thread. Cry hard. Laugh at the absurdity of life. And lastly, my literal and spiritual passports are close. I’m right here and we’ve got our own golden thread.”

As I finished reading the text, Michael walked into the room. “What’s wrong,” he asked seeing the look on my face. Nothing, I replied, tears filling my eyes. Beth just sent me something to hold onto during our trip.

And hold onto it I did. Beth’s words echoed in my head as I visited Ileen’s flat for the last time, ate lunch at our favorite restaurant where we shared so many meals and juicy conversations, and said my goodbye to a standing-room-only crowd whose hearts were breaking, too.

Beth’s positive social story – an exercise used with kids to calm anxiety – was just what I needed during my trip. Whenever I felt wobbly, I’d reread her words and instantly feel embraced by love all over again.

Our stories have power. They set the stage for our experiences. When you have a tough time staying present, tell yourself the kind of story you’d like to live into. Beth’s version is a good place to start. I’m happy to share her with you today ❤️.