Dear Inner Circle,

Sitting in my office late one night this week, a conversation with a young woman captured me and filled me with awe. For a short time, this woman became every story I’ve ever known about those whose life has turned from destruction, to life. Just a few years ago this woman’s life was literally one that was set on suicide. Her body bears the marks of her history and yet her face, her face… If only I had words to convey the force of life and energy that stream through this face, reaching deep into your heart and lifting you in a breath of inspiration. We’ve known each other for a couple of years. Our first meeting occurred in hell. She’d lost the will to live. Every meeting since has been a surprise and watching her embrace new challenges and increase the size of her goals and achievements, a source of joy. For some reason that I can no longer recall, I’ve given her the nickname of, “Tonic”. I’m such an old philosopher that I used the word as Aristotle did, as a musical term, suggesting, ‘one who brings harmony’. Naturally, the young woman herself, like everyone else, probably understands the term as a medical word. This week for the first time, I explained my understanding of the word. She told me that she loved the nickname I’d given her because her father always called her, “Poison”.

Another night this week, I also spoke to a young fellow who is also a story of turning to live, in spite of a long struggle with mental health issues. This fellow is making a fabulous attempt at learning English in a relatively short time. We don’t have much trouble understanding each other, but as it was quite late I offered to, “run him home.” A look of bewilderment came across him and he looked at my shoes. He was stumped at the suggestion that he and I would “run” from my office, all the way to his place. I explained that I’d be willing to “drop” him off on my way home. Things went from bad to worse.

Read more here.

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