It happened again. I was at my local body shop store the other day with my husband (rare treat for him to accompany me there, so it was like a date…not really) and asked the cashier for the location of the products that I couldn’t find. She responded with hesitation then asked me what my name was. I told her and she smiled while she led me to the shelf that I had already examined. Her suggestive expression piqued my interest, which led me to study her face more intently. I did not recognize her initially, but upon close examination, I thought I might have a hunch. Several competing thoughts were running through my mind: 1) I guess the memory really does start to go after 40 because she caught me completely off guard; 2) I have no idea who she is; and 3) who is she?
It took me a minute, but I eventually blurted out the first name of the individual that we both have in common. She said “yes” and I felt my lips and cheeks expand with a huge smile because I was proud of myself for remembering. I was also happy that she remembered me. She was his girlfriend. He was my client.
Moments like this fill my heart with joy. And it was literally just a moment…long enough for me to find my products, catch up, and check out. It turns out they are doing well. Their family has expanded and she even noted that he finally “got his stuff together”. I’ve written in an older post located here about running into a previous client and how one of my goals when I entered direct practice in mental health was to plant seeds of hope.
I can’t take credit for whatever progress my clients make. They are the ones who put in the work, but I firmly believe that when people feel supported, loved, cared for, and important, that they can do things that they never thought possible. Believing in these things yourself may not come naturally in the beginning, but eventually you learn. For example, children’s sense of themselves (self-esteem) come from what they see about themselves through their parent’s eyes. I am a mirror to my own children.
I also plant seeds all the time, all over the place and they flourish when they’re ready. Sometimes on an unassuming day, I’m fortunate enough to see the fruit.