I sat on one side of the room, as my friend sat on the other.
What started off as a casual conversation slowly turned into both of us uncovering elements of her past, unshared memories, moments of mental and physical abuse.
I proceeded to do what I do best, ask questions.
But, not just any questions, questions that I genuinely wanted answered.
There was no agenda; I simply wanted to learn more about her as a human being.
I wanted to create a space where she felt a sense of belonging and connection.
As a friend of mine once said, “You don’t always need to know the how, you just need to know where to start.”
This case was not any different, as I didn’t need to know how we could potentially impact each other; we just had to start the conversation.
It didn’t take long before I could sense the energy within the room shift.
The air around us felt lighter.
I felt more relaxed, and free to communicate easily.
Tears began to stream down her face, as she continued to share about her past, especially the time spent with her father.
I asked, “What hurts you the most?”
As she continued to share her story, I began to see her words transform her pain.
The whole week prior to this moment taking place, I was planning our event, “Turn Your Pain Into A Powerful Message,” searching for the “perfect” venue for this event. And it was a challenge.
Yet, what this moment made me realize was that the “perfect” venue was right in front of me, a safe space between two people who felt comfortable and vulnerable enough to explore some of their deepest realities without being judged.
In that moment I could see clearly that these kinds of experiences are full of beauty.
It helped me understand the importance of slowing down, not chasing that unreasonable target I set for myself and to stop thinking that I am only “three feet away from gold.”
Because the truth is I have found the gold.
It is always right in front of me, including in this moment where the two of us were able to connect on a deep level of understanding and compassion.
The venue is what you make of it.
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Oleg Lougheed is the host of the Overcoming Odds Podcast, where you get a glimpse into the stories of individuals who have overcome adversity, suffering, and struggle in achieving their personal success.