A good friend of mine was having a particularly low moment. Shortly after both her mother and her dog passed away, she realized that her romantic relationship was dying, too.
One morning as she was walking to the local deli to get her usual iced coffee, she suddenly felt overwhelmed by the loss of her mother and her pet. Fighting back the tears, she asked herself something, not out of acting the victim but from a genuine need to understand: “Why did this have to happen to them? Where are they now?”
Thoughts and emotions were still swirling inside her when she arrived at the deli. As she waited in line at the counter, she saw an elderly woman, whom she had never met before. My friend somehow sensed that this woman was going to say something meaningful, that she might be a messenger for her.
Suddenly, the lady turned toward her, looked her in the eye, and paraphrased a passage from Shakespeare: "All the world’s a stage and we are all just players. There are entrances and there are exits.”
Then, the woman grabbed her bag from the counter and walked out, leaving my friend astonished, yet oddly comforted—a feeling that only grew over time.
Sometimes it will be our role to receive a message, and sometimes we will serve as messengers for someone else. This is why we need to leave ourselves open and stay present.