Today as I was writing my daily Morning Pages, I was thinking about something I had written yesterday with the intention of using it for my article in this newsletter. The theme was about moving away from fear. Later, as I thought about it, I decided that it was no longer appropriate or desirable to write about or focus on fear. What is needed now for all of us is to focus on love. Then doubt (another form of fear) arose within me.

“How can I write about love when I know so little about it?” I thought of myself. “I know a lot more about fear…just like most people on this planet.”

Then inspiration hit me.

I was reminded of an incident that occurred last summer when I was walking the trail at one of my favorite local parks. It is a beautiful forest that borders the beach for miles. At one point I heard the delightful sound of children laughing and whooping with joy coming from the direction of the beach. As I looked through the trees towards the beach, I saw an older couple with two small children. I guess it was the grandmother, the grandfather and the grandchildren. While he was there for a moment enjoying his fun, Grandpa looked at me. Even though he was quite far away from them, I could see a big smile on his face. He raised his arm high and waved it back and forth in an energetic “Hello!”

That brief incident was the answer to my query about my doubts about knowing enough about love to write about it. Grandpa’s energetic greeting and smile was an act of love as he shared with me his happiness at being in that beautiful place with his beloved wife and his grandchildren. That brief memory has given me many moments of happiness and feelings of love reliving the event.

As I recalled that particular event this morning, I was reminded of similar events that are in my memory. Events that give me moments of happiness and warm feelings of love every time I remember them.

On one such occasion, my husband and I were at a favorite restaurant for Sunday brunch and were shown to our table. We passed a large round table filled with mother, father, children…and Grandma, who sat quietly in a chair in the hallway, looking down while everyone else chatted loudly and happily among themselves. As we passed I noticed the beautiful, brightly colored and intricately patterned jacket she was wearing. I leaned over and said, “What a beautiful jacket you have.” She looked at me and her face broke into a big smile. I smiled back as she thanked me and she started talking about how much she loved the jacket. I then looked up and noticed that everyone at the table was quiet as they watched this little scene. The mother was looking at me with a loving smile on her face and tears in her eyes when she saw her mother respond to my simple act of kindness. Later I noticed that the grandmother was participating animatedly in the family conversation.

Unexpected acts of love and kindness from strangers have a great emotional impact simply because they are unexpected. We appreciate acts of love from family, friends, and spouses. However, as nice as they are, they are expected. It is the amazing acts of love and kindness from complete strangers that awaken in us unexpectedly powerful waves of gratitude, appreciation and love.

What memories do you have of unexpected acts of love from strangers?

What memories of unexpected love have you given to others?

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