“I had an epiphany.” Far from spontaneous, you are looking forward to discussing it with her.
“Do tell,” she replies. “I’m all about the epiphanies.” Mia peers at you from behind a large coffee mug. The image would make a good shrink Emoji.
“Do you know the biblical story regarding the mustard seed?
Mia nods. “It’s an allegory. Something about inauspicious beginnings.”
You snap your fingers. “That’s the one. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed… I take it to mean great things can come from the tiniest of starts, like faith in God.”
“Are you born again?” Mia asks, feigning surprise. She knows you too well.
Her sarcasm does not deter you. “I believe we all plant mustard seeds knowingly or unknowingly. Acts of kindness. Helping others. Practicing these principles in all our affairs.”
“Okay…” Mia purses her lips. “But I’m not sure that constitutes an epiphany?”
“Hear me out. Most people think being of service means action. Something one does. Like giving money to charity. Meeting another alcoholic at Starbucks.” You pause. “But what if it also meant something you don’t do?”
“Like not drinking?”
“Exactly. But that’s only the beginning.” You polish off the last of your Red Bull, which explains your exuberance, part of it, anyway. “Not taking sides. Not criticizing. Not trying to be right all the time. Listening instead of talking. Not being that guy anymore.”
Mia nods. “I’ve noticed the difference,” she says. “Your anger has abated considerably since we first met.” She leans toward you. “I’ve told you this before.”
“But I didn’t really believe you. I’m suspicious of my own progress.”
Mia sighs. “You don’t accept praise well.”
“Never have.” Which is odd, given how much I’ve always sought it out. But I’m learning. Instead of deflecting a compliment by saying something sarcastic I’ve learned to say thank you. That’s my point. My epiphany. By not reacting I’m, in essence, acting. Does that make any sense?”
“Doing nothing is underrated,” Mia says. “Especially given the reactive culture we live in today.”
You roll your eyes. “It seems like everybody offends everybody. Trolling. Protesting. Where does it end?”
“I’m afraid it doesn’t.”
“Well, it will with me.” You throw your hands into the air. “Let the world trample all over itself. I’m done.”
“Hallelujah!” Mia exclaims.