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.

If you enjoyed this, please share your thoughts by commenting below.

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.