Recently I attended a conference in Atlanta. Even though I live in the South, I can count on two fingers how many times I’ve been to/through Atlanta. My hotel was right next to the conference hotel, but I didn’t want to pay the $30/day hotel parking fee. So I decided to leave my car in the long-term lot at a nearby MARTA station. It didn’t look that far away on the map, and it would cost me $25 for 5 days instead of $150– definitely a deal!
After checking into the hotel and putting my luggage in the room, I got back into my car to drive to the MARTA station. I screamed my way through rush hour traffic for 45 minutes before arriving at the MARTA station that wasn’t nearly as close as I’d anticipated.
I managed to get my train ticket, proceed to the platform, and board the correct train back to my hotel without any hassles. However, when I got off the train at my station, I had absolutely no idea how to get from there to my hotel. And by this point, I was starving and tired. Plus I had two lovely blisters on my heels from all the walking around in dressy shoes. This particular train station was large and had an escalator at each end, so I randomly picked one and went up– hoping I was headed in the correct direction.
At the top of the escalator was a friendly looking MARTA worker who saw me (I must have had a look about me) and asked, “Honey, do you need some help?” She graciously gave me a downtown Atlanta map and directions to my hotel. I needed to take the other escalator (of course!). To yet another escalator that would take me to a mall where there was a skybridge to my hotel.
Fortunately there was another friendly MARTA worker at the top of the other escalator (who also asked me, “Sweetie, are you lost?”). And she directed me to the escalator up to the mall. Once there, I was asked by a patrol cop if I needed directions (I must have *really* looked a sight!). But I finally made it back to my hotel. Several days later, the return trip to my car was even more torturous (I had luggage and the skybridge was closed), but I’ll spare you those details.
And what does this have to do with mental health?
The point of my laborious story is to illustrate that we so often make plans regarding how we’re going to proceed through life. Things like career plans, medical treatment plans, legal plans, or spiritual plans. And sometimes life throws curve balls that take a toll on us. Yet it always seems that, with every curve ball, life also places “helpers” along the journey.
Helpers appear in many different ways. Perhaps it’s your best friend, your pastor, the acquaintance at work, or the barista at your regular coffee shop. Maybe it’s a complete stranger or the long lost friend from 20 years ago. In my experience, they appear at *exactly* the right moment. Sometimes we have to seek out their help first, and sometimes they simply appear and offer to help us. But we have to be open to seeing them and receiving their assistance.
Has life thrown you a curve ball lately? Do you need help finding your way? Are your eyes open? Are you willing to receive the help that is there for you? Who are your “helpers?”
If you’re curious about how music therapy and GIM fit into the picture, contact me anytime. I’m always happy to answer questions!