Today at chapter, after weigh-in, I sat quietly looking over some handouts our leader had given us to review before the meeting. As folks came in, I looked up , smiled, exchanged a few pleasantries and came back to the pages in my hand. Then, someone entered the room, and it was obvious she had something on her mind. The sparkle in her eyes had gone dim and the smile she typically wears was clearly missing.
I know that look… for I have seen it many times throughout the years. We think we can hide behind the mask, like someone at a masquerade ball, but I know them too well.
Here, we know it is OK to remove the mask and share what is on our minds. Together, we will find a solution…or we will simply find the way to let it go. Either way, I am beside her side until the sparkle and smile return. We come together each week to help and support each other through the complex process of weight control and developing a healthier way of living.
I wonder how many others in the room also noticed?
Last year, a dear TOPS friend shared with me this lovely poem written by one of her students. I think I’ll make copies to share with everyone next week.
“A friend is someone who listens,
He listens with his ears of course,
Not only to my words, but to
The meaning underneath.
A friend is someone who listens,
He listens with his eyes as well,
And searches out the timid thoughts
That hide behind my smile.
A friend is someone who listens
When ears and eyes are not enough,
To find the music in my soul,
He listens with his heart.”
Let’s challenge each other to be the type of friend who truly listens; not just with our ears, but with our hearts. Let’s be attentive to the needs of others, especially when they are wearing a mask to hide their true feelings. Help them remove the mask so they can find and share the sparkle in their eyes and the smile on their face.