I’m writing this as I sit in gratitude on a business class flight returning from a board meeting interstate. I feel reflective, contemplative of the connection of the human spirit. Instead of sitting in the lounge stuck in my phone (which I did do for a moment, then stopped myself to just ‘be’) I observed the people, the families, the smiles and the frowns. And I felt a sense of love, seeing the light in every person that was in this lounge. I felt the connection that we all have, like I was watching it all from the clouds and seeing the magnitude and depth of the connection of the unseen.
Prior to boarding my flight with the essence of gratitude running through me, I had a tweet message come through on my phone. The tweet said “Tenille are you in Adelaide? I saw a driver holding a sign with your name on it”
Smiling at the amazement of this thing we call ‘social media’ for the mere fact of how it connects us between the face to face connection, I continued to read this tweet that was from an online friend that I shared the occasional tweet with. The wonderful world of digital delivers a platter of relationships with people that I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of meeting in person but have had the privilege to connect online with. Getting to play in the dance of building a connection through a little piece of software called twitter. I responded with a humbling tone (as I am often so grateful for the luxuries that get gifted to me), it read “Yes that was me I get spoilt when I come to Adelaide for my board meetings”.
This was followed by a few more messages between each other and establishing that we were both heading home for Perth. I wondered for a moment if he would be on the same flight and how funny that would be, only to dismiss and then carry on.
Soon that familiar sound came of the lady who instructs me where to go, and like a well instructed student, off I went and began boarding my flight.
As I sit comfortably in my seat, watching people walk past and consciously seeing the love that is within each of them, this hand pops out in front of me and says “Tenille Bentley” and wouldn’t you know it! This was my online friend from twitter. I was so surprised and we had a short moment to engage and chat about our trip before he was shuffled off to his seat.
In that moment I realised the power of influence in this space, the power of influence as an individual. Our ripple effect that we all have on the world, and the beautiful connection that exists.
I wouldn’t have known this person from Perth if we didn’t connect online, this was a person I never had the opportunity to meet in person. When you think about it, that is powerful.
Pondering this I was then distracted by a man appearing to be in his early 20’s with his family, and he was suffering, shaking and clearly in immense pain. I felt it was a migraine, and had asked his family if he was doing ok, and confirmed it was. I felt the immediate urge to gift him with my essential oils that I rub on my temples when I get a migraine and before I knew it I was leaning into the personal space of this stranger and massaging his temples and forehead like a child as he shook and cried, I found myself looking into him with deep sense of empathy and compassion. He then thanked me and in a fragile and delicate move, curled up and hid under his blanket. I spent a moment afterwards praying for his healing and sending intention his way hoping to send some ‘influence’ his way, but understanding that it was also his path and journey, so what would be would be.
Yet I did what I felt compelled to do, out of compassion. Never knowing if it would influence his healing, and found myself checking in, looking over just to see if he was getting better. I then decided to challenge myself to ask, ‘what does this serve in me by wanting to help?’ Is it really compassion?’ I feel it is, as this is what I was like as a child with animals, however as part of my challenge to self I dug deep and thought if I am to be honest with myself I suppose there is this sense of wanting to do the ‘right’ thing, be a good person, to help him, to save, to fix what is perceived to be broken, knowing full well that this desire came from my original quest as a child to fix the domestic violence in our home and never been able to succeed at this, so as an adult I always wanted to fix, to save…knowing now that is not my place to do this, I am not god, I cannot control something that is already written. But if I do this with the desire to influence the outcome of another persons journey and satisfying some egoist urge in me, is it therefore selfish to help another? I don’t really know. All I know is that I felt good about it, it did come from the core of my compassionate heart, but at the same time it did make me feel good about myself. So I just concluded that every decision we make in our lives is perfect – there is no wrong decision.
Just as I type these words, the mother of the young man just came up and thanked me for my kindness and offered me tickets to Oprah as her husband is working for her. And as I witness this beautiful act of kindness been reciprocated, I find myself immediately challenged to accept it. Isn’t that interesting? I took a moment and accepted with absolute gratitude.
This simple act of kindness saw me receiving a gift to not only see Oprah but to have a photo with her and enjoy a full VIP access valued at over $2,5K per ticket. Needless to say I had a moment where I just thought ‘what just happened here’ it was so surreal and I was sitting in a pool of gratitude.
It’s a good one to consider though ‘the power of influence’. If our influence is from the fact of mere self serving desires of feeling wanted, liked, loved or from a part of gifting without attachment to any outcome, to love as we would our own children.