Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Pay Attention to the People You Meet

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a speaking event co-sponsored by the Lupus Association and the Arthritis Foundation.  The first speaker is a psychologist who spoke about attitude and illness and how they dance together.  The real inspiration came at the end of the program when a woman was introduced to speak about the importance of exercise when facing a health challenge.

Delaina was in pain throughout her twenties and thirties.  At one point she was urged by a provider to have a test to see if she had rheumatoid arthritis.  She had the first test done and indeed that was the diagnosis.  She went on for further testing and the rheumatoid arthritis was confirmed and so was a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

The following day, after receiving the diagnosis, Delaina went to the nail salon and they were running behind.  While waiting she noticed an older woman walking in with difficulty.  Since the salon was running late the two women had a chance to talk.  Delaina asked the woman if she had arthritis.  The woman confirmed the observation and then Delaina shared her 24 hour diagnosis.  The woman turned away and began to tear up.  She turned to Delaina and said with regret, “I’m sorry”.

They continued the conversation and at the end of the conversation the woman offered Delaina two pieces of advice as a gift.  She encouraged Delaina to read the book, A Course in Miracles and to learn to love herself.  This “chance” meeting impacted Delaina immensely.  Delaina has many accomplishments including becoming a competitive body builder (that’s a whole other story).

At the end of her talk I went to speak to Delaina because her story was very inspiring.  I encouraged her to write a book to share her experiences and spread the message of hope.  I commented on the “chance” run in with the woman in the salon and Delaina said to me, “I’ve been having a lot of those ‘chance’ meetings”.  That’s the A-Ha moment.  Is it really chance?  Was she supposed to be in the salon to meet this woman?  Was it a good thing that the salon was running late so Delaina would have a chance to converse with this woman?  Is synchronicity a chance event?

Think about the people you meet every day.  Why are you meeting these individuals?  What message are you supposed to take away from the “chance” meeting.  How many messages or opportunities have you missed because you haven’t given yourself the gift of consciousness?

What “chance” meetings have you had and how have they impacted your life?  How will you work on your level of consciousness?


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

3 thoughts on “Pay Attention to the People You Meet

  1. Hi Greg,

    I kept your business card from when we met at that speaking event. 2 1/2 weeks after we met I was diagnosed with cancer. The last few months have been very dark, as you can imagine. I have continued to run into people by “chance” at moments of lowness or when I have needed what they have had to share with me. I have even reconnected with people who at a certain times earlier in my life had information that they offered me, but I wasn’t ready for it or did not understand it at that time. But going through these experiences over the last couple of years has encouraged me to reseek these people out. I appreciate your suggestion of writing a book. I actually started working on it. It may be a while before it is published because I have a bit more to go through, overcome, and accomplish. As I shared in the presentation, I won that first body building competition. But what I wasn’t able to share was I had hoped to compete in another one 3 weeks later (around the time I received the cancer diagnosis). I didn’t step foot on stage that day as planned (which was very disappointing and hard to get over). But those “chance” moments and meeting with the right spiritual, counselor, and medical advisors recently, and have them share with me things I have needed to move forward, have really helped. Right now is not the right time for competition body building to be a part of my life, but later in life, if I want it to be, it will be there. I believe in the power of exercise, but I have also had a wake up call on taking care of what is inside you too. A gift can be wrapped very attractively, but when opened up, it can be empty or full of undesirable garbage. Because everything seems to be tied together I am really focusing on what has caused my illnesses and how to make them dormant or cure them. I hope to help others with what I have learned in the future.


    1. Thanks for the comment. You’re a brave woman and the courage comes through loud and clear. Reconnecting with people from your past is a great idea, especially if they nuggets of wisdom that will guide you through the current journey. I hope the weekday lessons on this site prove to be of some comfort and a place to look for the questions that will ease the challenges of the journey. Please keep me informed of your path to wellness.

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