How I Met Transformation

Published by Robert Bick on

Of course, I know that’s not how it works. Transformation is not an apple hitting Newton on the head suddenly revealing gravity – a force that was there all along.

I know that transformation is incremental, step by little step, with lurching jerks along the way – failure, disappointment, shock, tenderness, loss, confusion.

That being said, here’s how I met transformation.

Two years ago today, on a Saturday afternoon my email delivered a “like” from an online dating site I’d forgotten I’d registered on. Dead simple. “Anne sends you a like.”

Curious, I responded. And heard back the next day. Emails and texts flowed effortlessly, phone and Zoom calls, then a visit. We promised not to make love at our first meeting. We saved that for date number two. Our first “overnight.”

And two weeks later, we were living together.

But before our first in-person meeting, Anne sent me an email describing her growing up years.

I vividly remember where I was when I heard the ping on my phone. It was a drizzly, gray, February day. I was riding back from the grocery store. I got off my bike by the side of the road, leaned against the crossbar to read the email.

The phrase “pretty girl in the class” jumped out at me like a fish leaping from water. It was shocking. Disorienting.

There was lots else in that email but “pretty girl in the class” is all I remember. I gasped. Who says, “I was the pretty girl in the class?”

I can still feel the pulsing within me – the jolt. I didn’t understand why it was affecting me so deeply. It was clear that it was as natural as rain for Anne to describe herself as the “pretty girl in the class.”

For me it was monumental. Beyond knowing or explanation, a stirring awoke.

It took me some time to realize that Anne was extending an invitation. Opening a portal. I didn’t know what the invitation was or where it led. I just knew to pay close attention.

And now two years later, I understand that she had opened the doorway to transformation. She held out her hand. Allow the simplicity, allow the welcoming, allow the delight, allow the generosity, allow the tenderness.

Take down the scaffolding; you don’t need it. Dissolve resistance, it’s pointless. Embrace my embrace. It’s simple. Revel in the “pretty” that is you.

Let this apple reveal your basic goodness. Surrender to the force of gravity. It’s been here all along – just hidden behind the clouds.

Categories: mindful communication