I Listened To My Heart Today

Posted by Bela Shah on Jul 31, 2013
4381 reads  
Today while typing away in a coffee shop in San Francisco, I noticed a man sitting next to me out of the corner of my eye. He looked as if he might tilt sideways towards me so a bit worried, I turned towards him to see that he was sleeping, sitting up in his chair and bundled up in a black jacket. Seeing no coffee or food in front of him and noticing his somewhat tattered appearance, it was pretty apparent that he was homeless, just looking for a safe place to rest for while. A voice inside me said, "Wake him up and ask him if he's hungry." I hesitated for a few seconds, partly because I didn't want to wake him up, but mostly because I was nervous about upsetting him or being rejected for whatever way I was about to try and connect with him. But remembering my intention to listen to my heart more, I asked my heart, "What do you want to do?" "Offer him some food!," my heart responded excitedly:). I softly nudged him and he immediately woke up, sitting straight up in his chair. Wow, he must be used to being on guard or kicked out of coffee shops. I smiled and asked if he was hungry and if I could get him something. "Oh, no, thank you. I'm fine." "Are you sure?" "Yes, yes." "Ok..." I smiled at him again. "Life has been rough," he said. "Yeah....what do you mean?" "Well, it's hard to find work." Then I remember that I had packed a sandwich and some fruit in my backpack. Maybe he wanted something homemade. "I have some fruit in my bag...would you like that?" "Oh! Yes, that sounds really good!" Wow....even now, I'm not sure what to think...why didn't he want me to buy him something? Was he worried about burdening me? Perhaps he had an aversion to anything given with money. I don't know. But if it was the former, then how funny is this world...I was worried about being rejected so I didn't want to wake him up. But I know that in another time, most people wouldn't have given this a second thought, naturally moved by their hearts by being present to someone's suffering. He was worried about burdening me so he couldn't take an offering that he knew was purchased just for him. I was caught up in my giving not being received and perhaps he was caught up in not being able to receive someone's giving....but as it turned out, we both gave and received. He told me more about his life, that he had no family or friends here in the States, that he came here as a refugee after the first Iraq war...and I was able to connect with another human being and be reminded of everything that I am grateful for. If only in our world, it wasn't seen as "giving" vs "receiving", but instead, as two sides of the same coin...sometimes you give, sometimes you receive, but you don't keep track because it doesn't matter.  And the more you keep flipping the coin, the easier it is to lose track of whether you're giving or receiving...it's all the same! A bow to this community for helping me to listen to my heart today and experience the dance:).

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Comments (12)

  • Lahar Mehta wrote ...

    very Inspiring Bela, thank you for sharing! lovely thing to read in the morning! :)

  • Audrey Lin wrote ...

    How beautiful, Bela! :)

  • Bill Miller wrote ...

    sounds like you did just the thing that was needed!
    \

  • Sarika Jain wrote ...

    What a heart-warming story... thanks for sharing it Bela! That took courage :)

  • Gayathri Subramanian wrote ...

    thank you Bela....

  • Ana Miller wrote ...

    Thank you to Bela to have taken the time to listen to your heart and overcoming the fear of being rejected. You are a Star :-)

  • JoAnn Baker Paul wrote ...

    Your willingness to open yourself is a gift; thank you for sharing this Bela, and passing on your courage.

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