Well, it happened again. I was mugged and robbed on the street in Buenos Aires—this time at 7:45 in the morning while walking on a major thoroughfare. I am normally pretty vigilant at night. This time, I stopped to window shop and before I knew it I was on the ground and the guy had pulled my wallet from my front pocket. I instinctively tried to kick him from the ground as he leaped over me and started running down Avenida Florida, which is a wide pedestrian boulevard. The next thing I know I am sprinting after him shouting “PARED, PARED, PARED” which means "STOP!".
These pleadings rendered no assistance and as we turned the third corner after three very long blocks it was becoming clear that we were a spectator sport for the early risers in the city or my Spanish sucked!!! It was also clear that this guy was at least 40 years younger and I wasn’t going to catch him. It was coming down to giving up or risking a coronary. So I stopped and began making the long and dreary mental checklist of things I had to do to stop payment on credit cards. I was almost in tears at the thought of trying to check out of the hotel, get home without collaborating identification and so on and so forth.
That is when a bystander pointed to the exact place I had run out of wind and had stopped and pointed to my wallet on the ground. The thief had dropped it, admittedly without cash, but otherwise everything was there. In that moment, I was not only overwhelmed with gratitude, but also profoundly serene and connected to whatever ‘Higher Power’ organizes the universe. Sure, I could call myself lucky or congratulate myself for my three-block middle-aged sprint or just imagine that thieves always dispose of the evidence as quickly as possible. In this case, however, I can’t attribute it to luck or anything that had anything to do with me. If I had run another 20 feet or stopped 20 feet sooner, I would never have seen the wallet again. Does this qualify as a miracle? I think so, at least in my world today.
The money will be replaced. I hope it feeds someone’s family. I am not happy that any of this happened. I can watch myself wanting to tell the story as evidence of the sorry state of big cities in general, and Buenos Aires in particular, but instead I am choosing to acknowledge my responsibility in the matter and thank God for the blessing of not having been hurt, recovering what is important, having already bought some presents to take home and being reminded to be more conscious when walking the streets at any time of day or night.
A lot of my work revolves around acceptance of people and places and things as being perfect the way they are while living in the conscious awareness that we are always creating our reality through our intentionality—our relationships with self/other people, our circumstances and time. Today’s experience validated that when we are present and committed and open to possibilities, all sorts of miracles can occur. This is what the movie The Secret is all about—the almost magical and miraculous results that can happen when we trust the Universe or ‘Higher Power’ to always deliver what we truly need and want.
If I have learned one thing in my life it is that at the end of the day life happens and our only choice is to surrender or resist. Today I reluctantly surrendered. And the moment I did, what could have been a real ‘lemon’ of a day was transformed into lemonade.