(First posted September 15th, 2012)
Acting out of character, I finished my sunrise walk by nipping in for a latte. The woman making it was in the her in-between years – her transition from girl to adult. Though lovely physically, her real beauty lay in her presence – that radiating diaphanous field in motion around her body and personality. Yet, it was shadowed by what I saw as a dissonance with and a remoteness from her promise. A counterfeit compassion surfaced in me.

In acknowledging her color choice in scarves, she replied “That’s helpful this morning.” Her response to my query about her morning of “still waking” was almost convincing. I wondered whether she was persuaded.

Walking onward enjoying the places the latte’s flavors took me, I ruminated about how we can begin seeing and acknowledging others, such that they recognize their place and promise – a seeing which fosters their confidence to live well the true nature of their own natures, to be genuine in the creative expression of their daily lives, to reveal themselves – their degrees of difficulty on their journeys, and their joys.

I then thought of a business guy I liked and respected. One who respects the fulfillment of my promise as I deliver elegant and ecological change to individuals and families. I then felt my discomfort as I sensed that he does not respect me personally. He sees more promise in me. This promise involves me articulating my work in ways which make it attractive to business and organizational leaders. He sees promises I have yet to deliver, those awaiting fulfillment.

As for my counterfeit compassion – it is my personal mask of grief regarding the distance I have kept from the rendering all of my promise. I felt gratitude for the reminder given by the young woman. Like her, others see through my ruses too. As to my query regarding how can I see others – it begins with the courage to see the greatness of my own self, to see the value in my creative expression – in its consequence – and to muster my courage and to act at the behest of my promise – and to do so now.

As to the criteria that would garner the businessman’s respect? They are but one possible map lending toward me delivering my promise. One worth modeling, not for his respect, but as a means for furthering my path and promise.

I am grateful for Life’s difficult and generous Grace.