Have You Ever Hugged a Stranger?

I took a special trip this weekend to spend some time with a friend, visit some family, and soak up some love in a beautiful little town in the middle of Florida called Cassadaga.

I’m extremely careful about broaching the subject of religion with people.  I have very strong opinions on the subject of organized religion and choose to keep those opinions to myself.  I think everyone is entitled to make their own decisions about their faith, what they choose to believe in, what customs they choose to follow.  Who am I to say what I believe in is superior to what you believe in?  I’ve experienced some things in my day that boggle even my own mind.  Only a small circle of my friends have heard some of these stories – and even some of my closest loved ones have heard none of them.

Cassadaga is a spiritual community full of an energy that is hard to describe.  It’s the kind of place you’re drawn to … or not, as the case may be.  Even though I’d known about it for years when I lived in South Florida … it took me moving to California to be drawn back to it.  When I first got there I immediately couldn’t breathe.  The energy was so strong it nearly triggered an asthma attack.  It felt like breathing in love … but an overwhelming love … so overwhelming, in fact, that it was nearly suffocating.  I experienced a lot of different things in Cassadaga.  I met a slew of interesting people.  It was an extremely emotional weekend.

I left there feeling loved and apparently I carried it around with me.  The day after I left Cassadaga I was having breakfast at an Ihop in Daytona Beach, surrounded by bikers (it was the end of bike week in Daytona).  I stopped in the ladies room on our way out when I ran into a young woman.  I was struck by how adorable her hair was and I told her just that “you’re hair is just adorable”.  She stopped and looked at me and said “I know that message came from God. I know it did.  I lost all of my hair last year and this is as much as it will grow.”  She had tears in her eyes.  I looked at her and said “you’re beautiful”.  Then I walked up to her, hugged her and whispered in her ear “you’re beautiful, don’t ever forget it”.  And I meant it.  She embraced me and said “I know you’re speaking through God”.  She turned to walk away and smiled and told me I’d made her day.  I too was a little choked up, but I left smiling.

In fact, I’m still smiling.

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