Being a business owner has brought me, personally, not only a great deal of joy, but a great deal of lessons as well. The Loving Piece was designed to be a place of peace, joy, love, blessings and release. As it continues to be such, it has also been a space of healing...for me. Over the course of the past few months, I have sensed an increase in theft. Although it is painful to admit, this is unfortunately a part of the world we live in, and TLP is not immune from it. Perhaps you have noticed that cameras have been installed and activated on a daily basis. This was hard for me to do as I did not want to put this energy out there and most importantly inside the store, but I believe it is also a part of the growing pains of life. This past month, I have been doing a lot of meditating and praying to God that I may be gifted the example of an individual who feels entitled to commit such a crime and that I would press charges. Well, be careful what you ask for.
Yesterday, I was contacted by one of my two favorite employees, that someone had stopped in the shop and admitted to stealing from TLP and they were going to be bringing the items back,. After a pause, an processing of what I was just told, I stated that I would be arriving at the shop within the next 20 minutes (paint clothes and all), and wait for the return of this individual. After a small chunk of time, low and behold, this individual returned with the items stolen in hand.
As I approached this individual, he began to tell me that he had been earlier and that he wanted to return the items that he had stolen because since he "took" them, the amount of heartache, trouble, and pain that had followed him was overpowering. Now, I had mentally prepared what I was going to say on my 20 minute ride, I had decided what options that i was going to offer him with a sternness and tongue lashing that he would not forget...and then he proceeded to tell me this... He stated that since stealing these items he had been beaten, stabbed and doing a great deal of drugs. He felt that because he took these items without paying for them, this turmoil that was now in his life, was caused partially due to his choice in taking these items. He had decided on Sunday, (yesterday), that he was going to go to church and afterwards, spoke to the minister and confessed his crime. Ultimately, the minister suggested that he return the items and begin his journey to healing.
He stated that the necklace that he took had broken and the crystals that he had also taken felt that they were not doing what they were meant to do. I replied with telling him that the necklace of course broke because of how he obtained it and that the crystals were surrounded with darkness and evil due to the fact of the way they were taken as well. The details of this situation are not as important as the outcome as he wanted me to take them back and I stated no...that the energy surrounding these crystals was not welcomed in TLP and that by him obtaining them the way that he did disrespected me, my employees and most importantly the mission statement of these four walls..
This individual had a long story of heartache and funny enough, most of the crystals that he had taken, correlated with the heart chakra. I am telling you, you can't make this stuff up. So I am sure if you have gotten this far, you are wondering what I did. I gave him three options. The option that he took was to pay for them. Could I have pressed charges? Yes, but I felt that there was something much bigger than you or I guiding him to do the right thing. Sometimes as a child, or even as an adult you are asked to tell the truth, when only after telling it you would end up getting punished. Was it the punishment deserved? Perhaps, but would it make someone want to tell the truth again? Maybe, maybe not. He truly learned some type of lesson because he knew that his life had taken a turn for the worse once he had those stolen items in his possession. I commend this individual for in the end, taking the higher road.
I believe we live in a time where support, empathy, love, forgiveness, patience and guidance is needed more than blame, judgment, animosity and cruelty. Will I ever see this individual again, I hope so as he told me I would. Would many of you done something different? Perhaps you would have and that's ok.. Did I do the right thing? Yes I did, for me and for him because I followed my heart.
Wishing you a moment to spread some empathy in the world and a Happy Valentine's Day, a day that is not just about flowers and candy, but a day of opening up your heart and allowing forgiveness to flood in..