A friend and I were talking the other day about the connections people make with one another. It was just after she had experienced one of those twilight zone moments. You know the ones. They rock you to your core, but they usually take place during some mundane moment of your day when you least expect to be rocked to your core—standing on line at the post office, a kid’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, buying a pound of Boar’s Head Maple Honey Turkey at the deli counter.
First meetings are typically formal affairs with two parties feeling each other out, erring on the side of caution until there is a bit more understanding between them. Other times, you meet someone and there is an immediate camaraderie. You have things in common. Maybe you grew up in the same neighborhood or with the same ethnic influences, or perhaps you find the same things funny. In any case, there is an instant ease, but the feeling ends there and, after wiping the pizza grease from your kid’s face, you move on with the thought that you’ve shared a brief, delightful encounter.
Then there is the twilight zone moment—the one when you meet someone and a jolt passes through you, and you’re sure you already know them. You have no memory of your past with them because your past with them never happened during your lifetime. And it’s not the easy feeling of camaraderie described above. To the contrary, it is like finding a beloved who has been lost to you for a very long time. This sensation, or recognition, can occur before you’ve even spoken. Perhaps it takes place on an energy level of which we are not fully conscious. You get to talking and find you know how they will respond to questions about their life, their beliefs, their dreams. It’s like you’ve already had the discussion a long, long time ago and it comes back to you in bits and pieces. You frequently say the exact thing at the same moment.
Is it that we have known the person before in some previous life? Is it just that they are so similar to us that it’s like knowing ourselves? Whatever the case, these are magical encounters that happen rarely. There’s no walking away from moments like these. There’s a sense that you must follow them to wherever they lead because surely the universe or God or an angel, or whatever you choose to call it, is sending you a rare gift, an opportunity for enlightenment, something great that will change your life and the world around you. You don’t know what that something is, but you trust that it exists.
You’re stepping into the twilight zone, destination unknown. How many of us have the courage to embark on that journey?