Stop. Start. Love.

A few weeks ago after a long week I was fighting LA traffic to get home when I saw a homeless woman on the side of the road asking for donations.

I didn’t have any cash, so I just gave her a nod and small smile as she passed, but then remembered I’d put a small bag of granola bars, toiletry items and other pre-prepared items in my car for just such an opportunity.

I started digging around and finally found the bag, but by the time I did, the woman had wandered down the line of traffic and could not hear my call, even with my window down.

As I drove away, disappointed that I was unable to help her, the woman’s eyes and smile begin replaying in my head and something about her told me I had to go back to help.

I finally made it home and added some cash, some other food and toiletry items, and an extra warm hat and scarf to my bag and drove back to find her.

As if on cue the light changed so that I was able to signal to her that I had a gift.  When she came over, and I pushed the bag out the window to her, I spouted off some of the items inside and finished with… “I had to come back and see you… and I just want you to know you are Loved, and that no matter what’s going on, it’s going to be OK.”



To my surprise the woman’s face lit up with the most beautiful smile I’d ever seen, and she responded.  “You wanna hear something amazing?”  Of course I nodded quickly, “Yes, of course.”



She proceeded to tell me that she’d been homeless for 10 years and on the streets doing drugs.

She said that a month ago she was lying under an overpass and decided she’d had enough.  She quit drugs on her own, while still homeless and has been clean and looking for her new life.  “Yes,” she said, “it IS going to be OK.”

My heart almost exploded.  And I told her how proud I was of her and how much she had just totally made my day!  And that she was my hero and that I thought she was such a brave and beautiful woman.

As we looked at each other with happy smiles and tears, I couldn’t help thinking… “What do I need to STOP, to START loving myself more?”

And that is my question to you today.

What can you do… today… by yourself… using every ounce of courage you have… simply because you’re valuable and lovable and amazing… to START loving yourself more?

Happy Early Valentine’s Day!  (It’s my favorite holiday so I start celebrating early.)

Love will save us all.  One by one.

Smiles, Shanna



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