Since arriving in Santa Monica about a year ago, I have seen the same homeless man almost every single day at various places in town. Each time I see him (depending on cash I have or the location I see him), I donate money; usually between two and five dollars, I buy him lattes and I know his name, I know the goals that he had once given up on, I have shaken his hand, I have made eye contact as I say, “I believe in you” and I know about his family… I have helped him repeatedly and after a certain point I started asking god if this is a lesson in unconditional giving or in learning to say no…. I continued to give though I was not sure if it was appropriate anymore. I do know when I tried to walk past him without assisting, something inside of me would pull my physical body back and I would feel a voice…. “Do you want people to give up on you?…. How would that feel?… This doesn’t hurt you.” So I would always go back.
About three weeks ago, I stopped seeing this guy. I saw him so much that I actually did notice the void and found myself wondering if he got everything he needed to go to Arizona like he had talked about.
Now, I am inclined to see his “disappearance” from my conscious reality as something a bit more spiritual. You see, though I have been a regular giver to those less fortunate for the past few years… I had never given to the same person over and over again, the opportunity to do so had never come up…. and I was often quite curious as to how our paths were repeatedly crossing at various places at the same time.
You see, about three weeks ago (right around the time I stopped seeing this guy), I got some news that was probably the ONLY thing which could come up from my past and bite me pretty hard, catapulting radical psychic healing and resurfacing painful memories with the end result being me struggling to hold my ground and my power. This news hit me hard as I found myself exactly where I was four years ago to the exact week in which the original “hit” occurred. I found myself grieving something that I have never had time to fully allow myself to do, except this time I couldn’t run from it. No way, no how. I could hardly speak without crying. I couldn’t find my inner sunshine and I felt completely disconnected from me.
I was lucky enough to have friends who were willing to help me out as I needed ears to listen to me and help with my life, because as it turns out, being a “Rolling Stone,” is not a very supportive lifestyle for such a breakdown. As these two specific friends had TONS going on, they worked with me in arranging a sleeping schedule between their two apartments. I am so grateful for that, and as a little time went on, I was actually feeling worse. I was craving alone time, in a bed allowing myself to break down, though that wasn’t an option and I noticed that living how I was, was actually perpetuating the reason why I never grieved in the first place… I was hyper sensitive to those around me, so that I just didn’t have a minute to exhale. Not that they would have judged me for it… I just didn’t like the idea of it with them having so much going on and what not.
Anyway, after this going back and forth between places went on I found myself sitting with them asking for more time, because my mental state was not feeling “up” enough to go back to my car, as being “A Rolling Stone” requires a certain mentality which I was severely lacking.
What ended up coming forward was one of those friends suggested that I get a hotel room ( I had been thinking it, but never said so), which I cannot afford right now. What transpired was that the both of these friends agreed to pay for one week so that I can get away and grieve so that I may re-emerge as me… or something functioning better than how I was at that moment.
At first, I felt a little uncomfortable with it as it was further triggering the exact thing that was getting to me. I went into that whole, “I’m not worthy” thing… but then I realized that maybe I am worthy… maybe this was the divines way of saying, “thanks for helping that guy over and over again…. and now it’s your turn.”
The recurring lesson since arriving in Santa Monica has been, “Open yourself to receive.” AGAIN, it sort of applies to my global family mission too…. it’s a cycle of karma, I have to live what I want to create and in this case, I found a very clear lesson in cycles of karma: Give without keeping score, give if you are moved to, and it’s true it will be returned in even greater value than it was originally given out and in a form you never would have expected in the exact right timing… I am finding that giving creates a sort of Christmas everyday, sometimes the gift comes right away and sometimes it takes awhile for the gift to arrive, but when it does it’s SO AWESOME!
You know, in the last few weeks that I saw this guy, he would always say, “Thanks, I’ll pay you back one day.” I would always say, “Just pay it forward… “ In my case, I think I was “pre-paying” for repeated assistance when I would need it most.
When I first got to Santa Monica (like the first day) I had lunch with a man who said, “people who give are smart… giving is like insurance…. and you, I can tell you give a lot… it’s written all over your face… why else would I invite a stranger to eat with me and pay for it, i could just feel that I needed to help you… but you see I am making insurance for myself too.” I honestly judged it as a little shallow, but now I see it in a different light. Giving is smart when it is done from a genuine place from within the heart.