Journey of Life

the place formerly known as control your destiny

Making a Difference

Making a DifferenceI have wanted to write this “story” for nearly a year now but what held me back was the fear that by writing it I would be deemed to blow my own trumpet! That feeling is still here to a certain extent and as I am writing this I am still undecided as to whether or not I should post it.

the point of the story  has nothing to do with blowing my own trumpet but instead one of the most important lessons in my life.  A lesson about helping another human being during a time where I could have so easily dismissed her as wasting my time.

In my job I generally have 2 – 5 clients coming to see me every day. Most of them I have never met before, some of them I know and some have become wonderful friends. This particular lady came to me hoping to reduce her payments on her mortgage as 18 months previously she had contracted cancer and as a result had no other option than to take some time off work while going through treatment. My first instinct was that I could probably reduce her payments by a meager £30 per month and I wanted to do better than that because I felt she deserved it (not sure at what point I appointed myself the judge of who deserves what!!)

It may be worth mentioning that my job unfortunately involves having a “sales target” (those 2 words put together always makes me cringe) and that the time spent with her would not get me any closer to it. However, a lesson I learned a long time ago, is that honesty and no bullshit is the only way to develop good relationships and since I learned that lesson I have lived by it.

Another factor (I think) was that I had just finished “Fish Philosophy” (See the post Choose You Attitude) which is why I chose to just “Be There”

Our first meeting lasted no more than 30 minutes or so and throughout I remained focused on finding some way of improving her situation. I decided   to go through all her regular expenses. I felt that if I could only save her such a small amount each month on her mortgage there had to be another way of reducing her outgoings further. During this exercise we discovered that she had an insurance payment going out of her account, which had been active for a long time. She had no idea what it was for and had no paperwork with her. I told her to go home and dig out any kind of paperwork that could shed some light on it and then come back.

She did exactly that! She came back with the biggest carrier back full of all kinds of letters, contracts, financial statements etc and her comment was; “you’ll regret asking me to come back”. We spent (mostly me) a long time sorting through it all and actually ended up getting rid of the majority of it. However, amongst all of this the insurance policy emerged and it became apparent that it covered her for the cancer she had been diagnosed with. The only problem at that point was the fact that you  generally have to claim within the first 12 months of diagnosis and at this point 18 moths had passed. Between us we decided that she had everything to gain and nothing to lose, although she straight away felt it would be a waste of time and I think she did not want to get her hopes up only to feel disappointed when (in her mind) they’d tell her she’d missed the deadline. I phoned the insurance company and explained what she’d been through.

In retrospect it appears that the Universe or God had arranged for people to be extremely helpful that day because the guy I spoke to was (and I am sure still is) wonderful. He kept it simple and arranged for a claim form to be sent out. We arranged to meet a week later as she felt it would be too overwhelming for her to fill it in on her own.

When we met the 3rd time it didn’t feel like a client visiting anymore but more like a friend visiting for a coffee and a chat. We filled in the claim form, sent it off with fingers crossed. She still did not believe it would happen and in all honesty I had my doubts too, but at this point something had happened in me. I was filled with a desire to fight for her to make sure it came through and this time it wasn’t to gain any kind of approval or a pat on the back for a job well done. All I wanted was for this to come through for her.

A good pathAbout a week after we sent of the claim form I went on holiday in Scotland for a week. When I came back to work and checked my diary I noticed she was scheduled to come in to see me. I figured that she’d had some more paperwork through that she wanted help with and didn’t give it another thought.

I was in for a little surprise when she came in. She looked at me and then gave me the biggest hug. Not only did they pay out enough to pay of her mortgage, she was left with £7,500 to spare. While I had been away she been out buying a computer, which she had always wanted but could never afford and was so excited telling me about going on google earth etc. It’s impossible to describe how I felt. I was so incredibly grateful that the Universe or whatever you want to call i came through for us.

She wrote the most wonderful letter to my boss and I did get a lot of recognition as a result. However the recognition was very short lived and it actually did not mean a lot to me.

My real reward was the day she came back and told me that it had paid out. My reward was the look on her face, the face of a person who I had only met 4 times in my life. Most of all, the reward was how I felt in myself for taking the time to give another person my full and undivided attention and knowing that I made a difference in her life!

I will never forget that part of my journey. It was one of the most fulfilling days of my life and to this day I think I helped myself more than I helped her!

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17 responses to “Making a Difference

  1. Donna May 1, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    It’s so important for us to share what we have discovered are the REALLY important things in life. You did this very well in your post, and should not feel as if you are “tooting your own horn”, because, as you implied, all was right with the Universe, and it was actually a number of events and people doing what was RIGHT that made it all work! And because you started the ball rolling, it gave the whole thing a chance. We all need to “start the ball rolling” in our own lives by making the choice to “be there” and do the best we can.

    • J May 2, 2009 at 3:00 pm

      Hi Donna,

      Thank you for your kind words. It is a pleasure to welcome you here.
      It really was a series of events and people that made it happen as you say and I am just grateful to have been part of it.

      Best wishes

      J

  2. psychscribe May 2, 2009 at 1:39 am

    This is a lovely post and you are a lovely person. I do not hear anyone tooting their own horn but a big hearted person feeling so glad that God (or the Universe, however you call Hi) used you to help this woman. And maybe, just maybe, this woman helped you.
    😉

    • J May 2, 2009 at 3:06 pm

      My dearest psychscribe, you have no idea how much your beautiful words warm my heart. Thank you.

      “And maybe, just maybe, this woman helped you.” You are right; she actually helped me more than I helped her and in retrospect she arrived at just the right time!

      With love and gratitude

  3. viv66 May 2, 2009 at 7:19 am

    This has cheered me up! Well done on all counts, and I am especially pleased for your client.
    What makes me so happy is that it appears that sometimes things do come right for people who deserve it and need it, and that you have been an important part of helping the process along.
    thank you!

    • J May 2, 2009 at 3:16 pm

      The fact that this has cheered you up has lifted my spirit too.

      I remember the day when we sent off the claim form. That night I made one wish to the universe and cancelled all previous wishes as long as this one would come through. It seems like I wanted this more than all my previous wishes (that never came through) because this one became a reality.

      What made me happy was the exact same reason as you. She had been through a lot with little support and I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been a part of it.

      From a personal point of view I think our paths were meant to cross for that reason only. I have not seen or heard from her since, which tells me that maybe I did learn that particular lesson!

      Love

      J

  4. shiona May 3, 2009 at 5:42 am

    I guess I will not say anything different from what has already been said, but I just want to thank you for sharing this story too.

    I’ve been surrounded by so much selfishness, aggression, head games and power plays recently, that I had almost started to accept this was the right way to progress in life.

    I’m happy to tell you that your post has brought me back to my original belief that love and compassion for all living souls are the actual path to survival. Thank you.

    • J May 3, 2009 at 1:12 pm

      I have wanted to write this for a while, mainly to remind myself of a time when, for the first time in my life, I was really proud of myself.

      The fact that this has brought you back to believing in love and compassion makes me happy that I posted it.

      May you always be blessed

      J

  5. fibi May 4, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Wonderful.. Truly wonderful..

    “Be the change you want to see..”

    You are certainly living that.. The love expressed in your writing is truly heart warming..

    • J May 4, 2009 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you so much fibi,

      “Be the change you want to see..” – These words are inspiring and your comment has brightened my day.

      With love

      J

  6. mysoul May 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Came here via Enreal’s. I am glad you gave her the gift of your time. its the most precious gift you could give anyone and it doesnt even require a wrapping. 🙂

    No, this isnt tooting your trumpet. You just made me a little less wary of people involved in sales…

    • J May 4, 2009 at 8:17 pm

      I love your comment and I am so happy you chose to visit.

      I never thought of it as me giving a gift of my time to someone else. Reading your words my initial thoughts were that I was the one receiving a gift based on how that experience made me feel and you are right, no wrapping required! 😉

      As far as sales people and selling is concerned; my view is this: If you have to work at selling something then it’s generally not worth buying.

      Thank you

      J

  7. tobeme May 4, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    This is a great story! We often have the opportunitiy to touch and help other people and we let that opportunity slip because we want to “make our sale target” or do some other thing that in the end is self serving or so we think.
    As you said you gained more in the end! Great job!

    • J May 4, 2009 at 8:25 pm

      Thank You,

      The reward for reaching or exceeding a sales target is short lived and insignificant (maybe I am in the wrong job) compared to the reward of helping another human being.
      I am forever grateful for the experience and the lesson I learned during the time I had with her and since that experience I have been presented with many opportunities to help other people and this memory/story always serves as a reminder for me to just be the best I can be.

  8. vanessaleighsblog May 4, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    J: This is my first time visiting here, and what a story to read! As with what others have said, it sounds as if you and this woman were meant to lead each other in a meaningful direction; and that you are not tooting, you are merely stating a lesson that has been learned in life. ANd, I have made some really strong connections with others here in the blogosphere by doing just that; sharing our stories of lessons learned. It is really so powerful, and I look forward to reading more of how this is guiding your life!

    Please, come over to my place and visit anytime! Peace, and I will be back! Vanessa

  9. J May 4, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Vanessa,

    I am so touched and happy to have you here and I hope it won’t be your one and only visit!

    When I think back on that time and actually when I wrote it, I thought the same thing: We were meant to cross paths and help eachother and I still think I am the one who learned and gained the most.

    I have added you to my “Blogs I can’t stay away from” and I am looking forward to my first visit.

    With love and gratitude

  10. Pingback: Incentives and Rewards « Control Your Destiny

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