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How To Connect At The Level Of The Heart

How to meaningfully connect with strangers when you feel alone.

I celebrated my birthday last weekend by taking myself out to lunch at a restaurant my mother and I loved to visit. I ordered the lunch I'd usually have when we lunched there together, and I decided to forget the diet this one time and have the dessert we'd always shared.

I looked at the empty chair across the table and visualized her smiling back at me. When I miss her, I take us to lunch at one of our favorite places and focus on the loving relationship we shared during the final years of her life. I ask her for advice, and she gives it to me. It's invariably advice I wouldn't have given myself, and it's invariably advice that turns out to be perfect for where I am in that moment.

It's one way I keep our connection alive.

The server was a young man who warmed up to me after I thanked him for being so nice to me when I was there the previous year. He apologized for not remembering me. The place was nearly empty, so he had time to chat. I told him my mother and I used to lunch at his restaurant, and I told him I wanted the dessert she and I used to share. He asked if I wanted a lighted candle with my dessert. I asked him if he really had to sing "Happy Birthday" to me. I asked him to surprise me. He did. He and another server brought my dessert with the lighted candle and serenaded me with just half of "Happy Birthday." Surprise!

I walked into that restaurant alone. I walked out feeling cared about and supported by Greg the server, the other server, the manager, the hostess and the rest of the staff, all of whom wished me a Happy Birthday as I left. Greg also gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek and asked me to come see him again soon.

Today is National Hug Day. Are you up for giving or receiving a hug today?

I learned, after my mother passed away, that people who enjoy their work in service industries are more likely than most to connect with people in transition. Now that I know this, I always spend time saying nice things to people who work in customer service, apologizing for those who don't treat them well. I tell them I understand how it is to not be treated well, and I tell them I want them to know I appreciate what they do.

It really can be that easy.

What do you say to a stranger, someone sent by the Universe to help you? Speak from your heart. Appreciate him or her for who they are. Radiate the love you are from your entire being. Even if you don't get the physical hug I got from Greg, you will most likely feel the moment of connection that warms the heart even in the absence of those who love you most.

Copyright 2016 Sheryl Hirsch-Kramer All Rights Reserved