All Sales Final!
No Refunds No Returns!
Shopping after the holidays is a little depressing. Everywhere you turn, there are raggedy boxes of Christmas lights and once cheerful holiday bulbs where one of them is sadly broke into a million shards. The pre-wrapped gifts that once held such promise are tossed in a bin marked CLEARANCE with little pieces of tape and torn wrapping paper – obviously returned or exchanged for something more desired. Sure – the deals are great but there is a feeling of desperation in the air that is just now being shaken off by the exhausted retail sales people who have probably just gotten their first two days off in a row after 90 days of insanity.
I am reminded of all of the women who come in and out of mylife – some are ready for change and some are not. Some have the support of family and friends and some do not. Some don’t know that change is even possible and have never even explored the idea that there is the possibility of possibility. Some know that change is possible but think that it can’t happen for them. Some are trapped in toxic relationships and some are trapped in jail. Some are trapped in the Social Service System that limits their thinking to believing that they are only deserving of what the government will give them. Some are trapped in a Justice System that has already pre-determined their culpability in their life decisions and focus only on punishment. Some are convinced that society somehow“owes” them something although they can never define what it is.
I beg for clarity – for them and for me. And I always get it to at the last possible moment. My life was never intended to change the whole world or to feed all the hungry or to house every homeless woman. I only desire to accept them “As Is”, offer hope where there is none and then assure them know that the door is always open and the zone is always judgment free.
What a relief. But being judgment free is not as easy as you might think. Sometimes things are clearly wrong and there is simply no excuse for it. And yet – it is important to me to remember that they are brought to me in the exact condition they were supposed to be when they got there. The Universe brings women into my life that are ready for change and it is not up to me to decide what that change is, only to present and idea that there is indeed the possibility that there is possibility.
Time and time again a girl who sits in front of me –rejected, alone and hopeless – who suddenly sees the light goes on when I tell her that she deserves to be happy. That she has worth beyond measure and that all she has to do is learn to love herself. It flickers for a moment and then is usually quickly extinguished. Of course at first they don’t believe that it’s true. But since the Universe has prepared her to be exactly where she is in that pre-determined space and time, she ready to receive it within a few minutes because it is not thier hand that is on the light switch.
The emotion in that moment is raw and very often it takes a few attempts before they get it. We announce that “I accept love in abundance” to the Universe and put emphasis on different words as we say it again and again. A little bit of joy starts to creep into the room a little bit at a time and suddenly, these beautiful, broken women find their voice and they experience – many for the first time –the well of love they have inside just got “tapped” and they glimpse the other side of their own personal hell.
They come to me “As Is”. No Refunds. No Returns. And I am to meet them where they are. They bring their raggedy lives in old bulging boxes, barely held together with packing tape and rubber bands and – together – we start to open the box and get all the pain and the shame and the despair pulled out, put aside and work from right there in that moment. We don’t try to brighten it up with pretty ribbon, or disguise the contents with overused clichés and platitudes. We don’t try to pretend that some of the contents don’t still have power over them. We don’t ignore the shattered pieces in the bottom.
The relief is palpable. This CLEARANCE is so much different than what was expected. It reveals the possibility of possibility that life can be very different but we have to clear out the old and rewrite the future with different rules.
It’s a beautiful thing and I don’t always get to see the end result. But it is for that single moment of clarity when the Universe switches on the light in her darkened mind for the first time that makes me keep going.
There is no turning back from that moment. The moment when ALL SALES ARE FINAL!