A Simple Act of Caring

Do you usually dream at night?

When you do, do you remember them or do they just disappear, leaving a trail that’s too hard to follow?

Sometimes I remember them, but they don’t make any sense to me. They’re so full of places, events, and people, all jumbled together.

Recently though I came across a fantastic book titled, Infinite Purpose by Liv Lane and Lori Portka. One chapter is devoted to dreams and the emphasis it focused on surprised me. Rather than attempting to decipher all the parts of an individual dream, the suggestion was to take the dream as a whole and follow the theme to see where it led.

The authors recommended that you try it for a week and see what you experience.

I decided to take their suggestion and discovered a whole new world. I was able to capture the essence of the dream and find some profound insights.

This morning I woke up and was able to remember an entire story. Many of the details remained fresh and clear, but it was the central theme that was important to me.

There was an elderly lady who was conducting a transaction, perhaps in a bank and she was extremely dissatisfied with the service and the outcome and demanded that her voice be heard. A meeting was scheduled for the next day to attempt to review her transaction and a member of senior management was called in for support.

The meeting time arrived, and all were assembled. At first the staff tried to explain, but soon discovered the elderly lady was not interested in hearing their rationales. A different tact was taken, and a more general conversation ensued. This pleased her and it soon became apparent that she had no desire to discuss the transaction from the prior day. What she did seem interested in was being heard and seen, as a person.

Toward the end of the conversation, she became very quiet and closed her eyes. Her breathing slowed, then ceased.

The staff were concerned and tried to wake her, but she did not respond. One attempted to take her pulse, but there was none. It was then that they realized she had died.

One staff member looked at her carefully and was surprised to find she’d died with an enormous smile on her face.

I’m sure there could be many interpretations for this dream, but what jumped out at me was this…everyone wants to be listened to, to be valued, to matter to someone, anyone, even if they have to be angry and demand attention to make it happen, as the elderly lady did.

All she really wanted was to be seen, heard and at a deeper level, loved.

There is a powerful message in this dream for me, one I would have previously missed.

During my working life I was involved in two ‘relationship’ fields, the first in banking and the second in human service. One thing they both centered on was recognizing the inherent value and worth of each individual. Demonstrating caring, support and encouragement meant everything to the customers and folks being served.

Simple acts of caring feed both the giver and receiver.

I try to remember this and am often granted opportunities to show caring, whether it’s reaching for a product on a high shelf for an elderly person, opening a door or looking into the eyes of someone I thank for their service. There are a million ways to connect and each one offers tangible ways to care, should we choose them.

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