Something in the Eyes
a true tale

This short story is true; the events related here occurred in mid 2004.  It is one several short stories which I have written about the magical and near-magical things which seem to happen in those moments or hours or days when we somehow manage to largely let go of the strivings of the mind and instead totally surrender to God, or Being, or Source or Holy Spirit, whatever you wish to call "it", and totally accept our present circumstances, and simply allow pure love to flow for our selves (the mind, the body), the world and for all involved in our present circumstances.  Several similar stories also appear on this Leelas website; each about the results of allowing the heart to open and be in a place of acceptance and unconditional love.  There are even some cute stories of meeting women in odd places in while in such a state of unconditional love -- this is one of them...

I have been told many times since the late 1980s that I have a very "powerful" and "large" (I have never quite understood what those words mean in this context, but they are what people seem to come up with...) aura, and likewise, repeatedly told by strangers in crowded bars, crowded airports, and while waiting on line at the local bank, that my eyes are very bright and have some kind of "very powerful, glowing, loving, soft energy".  My sense is that it is due to my various inner spiritual practices, especially my heart-centered work.  Indeed, for just one extreme example of what I have said above, I was once approached, around 1999, by a young woman who was a total stranger on a sunny afternoon on a crowded street in Baltimore, who told me that she was an occultist, a shaman and a "witch", and that my aura was the brightest, whitest, and most powerful she had ever seen, and she insisted that we spend some time together and talk so that she could learn more about me -- she claimed to have noticed that overly bright aura in broad daylight on the sunny afternon as I had walked along the sidewalk. I believe that I tell that tale in its entirety elsewhere on this website!   And now, let us get on to the story at hand....

First, some background: I am in my early fifties, am single, and live with a dog, a cat and about 45 chickens, ducks and geese in the mountains in a wilderness area, and thus, I do not often get to see people unless I go to town for some reason.  This relative solitude is quite fine for me, as I work from home, and a lot of my work is spiritual coaching and healing done with distant clients.  By the way -- and I offer this as background for a humorous connection which will become obvious later -- several months ago a friend turned me on to an excellent movie called Barfly.  On his recommendation, I rented the video of Barfly on VHS tape, and I loved the movie and especially the characters in it so much that I ended up watching it at least four times within the span of one week.  The movie -- a wonderful and heartwarming classic made in 1987 -- is largely set in a skid-row flophouse and several nearby bars in a seedy section of downtown Los Angeles, and stars Faye Dunaway and Mickey Rourke, both cast very much out of character as down-and-out alcoholics with a lot of heart.  I fell in love with Fay Dunaway in the role of Wanda, an alcoholic with a rough past, in the movie -- I had never before encountered Faye Dunaway on film, but she was beyond outstanding and her character was mesmerizing -- I was entranced.

About two months after seeing the movie, and during one of my meditations on a Tuesday morning in May 2004, I was guided to go to a nearby city that evening and to go to a rather seedy street to a rather rundown bar (which I have visited a perhaps few times per year over the years) on that street, that there was someone there whom I might wish to meet.  Now, I am not a drinker -- my idea of heavy drinking is sipping one-half of a ten ounce mug of unpasteurized draft beer about once a week -- and I normally go to pubs perhaps only once per week for a few hours just to be around people.  And I must admit that I do receive similar bits of inner guidance about once per year -- to go somewhere at a certain time -- which usually seems to work out just fine if followed,  but I certainly did not feel that morning that I was in the mood to drive over an hour each way to a nearby city just to go to bar later in the day. However, my inner guidance assured me that when early evening came, if I was still asked to go, I would have more than enough energy and aptitude to drive into the city.

An Outing to the City
Well, as evening approached, I did indeed feel like I had the energy to make the drive to the city, and somehow I suddenly felt up for a bit of a city adventure... after all, it had been quite a while since I had spent any time in a city at night around people in a relatively public setting.  And so, I set off to the city in early evening, and once I arrived at the appointed neighborhood, I parked my car, and walked to the bar. I was feeling quite relaxed, and my heart felt quite open that evening; I was simply in a state of love and acceptance -- I felt very calm and loving and friendly to the whole world.

The bar, aside from the requisite video games and pinball machines found in many city bars, had no tables, but rather just sported a long straight bar as well as some stools along the walls for the video games, and this evening, as I entered, the pub had about twenty-five denizens.  I passed a number of occupied stools and made my way to a rather empty spot along the bar, where I grabbed a stool and ordered a bottled water.  After a few minutes, I was approached by a young woman, a stranger with a pleasant face, large green eyes, and shoulder-length reddish-brown hair, who gently grabbed me by the shoulders and turned me around to face her, and, then, without preamble or introduction, told me that I had the most incredible powerful glowing and loving eyes she had ever seen.  I dimly realized that I had briefly noticed her when I had entered the pub -- she had been sitting in rapt conversation with a young man with a military-style buzz-cut haircut who was perhaps in his mid twenties.  Anyway, this yong woman -- whose name I still did not know -- was now in my face, wanting to know more about me and my eyes.  I asked her if she was referring to the color of my irises -- which, she reported when asked looked hazel and brown in the dim lighting of the bar -- and she said no, and I asked if it was something about the whites of my eyes -- were they perhaps very white? -- and she said no, and finally, she said that it was some kind of brightness -- some kind of powerful sense of "spirit" or soul, very much about an open heart (her words), that she saw in my eyes; she mentioned the part about heart several times.  At about this point, I told her my name and I asked her name.  Wanda turned to be 38 years old, and she told me that she lived in another section of the city, a rather ghettoized section of it.

Then, because I had earlier noticed Wanda sitting with the young man further up the bar, I asked cautiously if our conversation was not perhaps intruding on her date.  She brushed off my concern, and told me that he was just a friend whom she had met earlier in the evening up the street.  At about this time -- we had now been talking for about five minutes, I noticed the young man get up and leave the bar, seeingly acting a bit perturbed.  I learned much later in the evening -- when her girlfriend approached Wanda and confronted her gently about it -- that Wanda had abandoned her date -- that young man sitting about ten seats away -- to approach me and speak with me, and had obviously never returned to him; as we ended up talking for what turned out to be over three hours.  It turned out that her date had returned only days ago from military service in Iraq, he was a sergeant who lived in the neighborhood with his parents; and Wanda had met him earlier in the evening at a fast food stand up the street.

Wanda turned out to have spent a number of years abusing drugs, and told me that she had gone clean over two years ago and now only drank alcohol; she admitted readily and openly that she was still somewhat of an alcoholic, and she seemed quite at peace with that.  Wanda and I ended up spending over three hours in the pub, talking about a number of topics -- she had grown up in South Carolina on a rural farm in what she described as a very dysfunctional family and had then followed her mom to the big city in her early teens.  Finally, after hours of talking, Wanda asked me if we could spend the night together, and she explained that she was not necessarily looking for sex, but simply wanted to be held by me and to look in my eyes some more, she said that she liked my heart and wanted to be near that energy. And so, Wanda and I  left the pub together and spent the night together in the city after a short drive.

Finale and Realization
In the wee hours of the morning, as we lay in bed chatting and holding each other, I briefly explained to her how I had been guided to drive to the city and to go to that particular bar that night.  Wanda was not at all surprised, and seemed to feel that such guidance from the inner level or from God/Spirit was quite normal and commonplace.  At one point, she turned to me and asked me for more detail on what I do for a living, since I had earlier brushed off her inquiries in that area by simply saying that I lived in the mountains and did consulting from my home in various fields, including "spiritual stuff".  Now she wanted far more detail... And so, I explained to her that I do some scientific consulting, but that the work that lay closest to my heart was my spirtual healing work; I explained that almost of my clients were at a distance, many of them thousands of miles away, and that many found me via my healing website . At this point, Wanda drew back a bit, looked me in the eyes, with a bit of a furrowed brow, and said frankly:
"I don't understand! You say they come to you with a wide range of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical problems. If that's true, why don't they just deal with it themselves by surrendering it all to God? Why do they need a healer?"
I was stunned at her statement, and I felt my eyes filling with tears at the beauty and simplicity of her insight, and I briefly answered that I felt that this surrender is indeed the way to approach anything and everything in life, and that perhaps many of us go to a spiritual healer once in a while to remind us of exactly that connection with Divinity and Holy Spirit, and to remind us how simple it can be to surrender what seem like "problems" to Holy Spirit. I explained that my spiritual healing work involved exactly that, simply surrendering everything to Holy Spirit; no effort, no strain, no trying, just surrender.  This concise reply seemed to make a lot of sense to Wanda, and so she settled back, satisfied.  However, I lay there for many minutes more, spooning her, my arms around her, with warm tears in my eyes at the simplicity, beauty and innocence -- indeed a purity -- of her statement and her deep knowing,  despite the fact that she was only 38 years old and had already endured a rather hard life, been a drug abuser for many years, and was still very much an alcoholic.  However, what emerged repeatedly for me was this: Wanda was very much at peace with herself and her life, and somehow, had reached a point in her understanding and acceptance -- I call it Grace -- that most people twice her age have not reached and many may never reach in this lifetime.

As we parted in the early morning hours, I realized that we had each given something to the other, something to do with grace and ease and kindness... a simple love and respect.  As I drove home from the city near sunrise, I suddenly realized with a shock that my companion for the night had been named Wanda, and that she was a long-term alcoholic who had been thru a rather hard life; three parallels to the character Wanda played by Faye Dunaway in the movie Barfly which I had seen months earlier; I smiled at the realization of the coincidence.  Caught up at the time in the flow of the events of the evening and night, none of these parallels had occurred to me at the time, and had fallen in place only now, after I had started my journey home.

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