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Day 233: do you know how beautiful you are?

21 Aug


Do you know how beautiful you are?

Pup does.

Everywhere we go people stop Pup and say:
“You’re such a pretty dog!”
“What a beautiful doggy!”
“Wow, he is so handsome!”

Pup wags his tail pretending to be interested and as soon as he gets his requisite pat on the head or scratch behind his ears, he’s off sniffing something new.

It’s a rough life for Pup, obviously.

Tonight, I completed Day 7 and a full week of meditation.  And as davidji asked the final powerful question of the night, he totally caught me off-guard with: Do you know how beautiful you are?

It totally took me back in time, to my sixteenth birthday.

My mother woke me up on my birthday by sitting next to me in bed singing me awake (she often woke me up by singing a song — or worse — singing me the “It’s time to get up, it’s time to get up, it’s time to get up this morning” song in her sweet voice that wasn’t welcomed to my teenage years or ears).

As she sat on my bed singing me happy birthday and telling me how much she loved me, she totally surprised me when she said: “your father and I were just talking about how beautiful you are.”

I remember drawing back and saying, “Whatever” in an incredulous teenage way.

She then went on to tell me that she and my father were laughing about all the boys they saw turning their heads at me, down grocery store aisles or when we were out.

“That never happens!” I retorted with honest confusion rolling my eyes.  I had never been on a date, nor had a boyfriend, let alone noticed anyone looking my direction.

My mother insisted upon it.  She was supposed to do that.  She’s my Mama, the one to love and adore and fawn no matter what. I didn’t trust or believe it for anything more than a mother’s love for her daughter’s sweet sixteen.

So tonight, when davidji asked the question all of this came flooding back to me.  My mom.  My sixteenth birthday.  My total lack of appreciation for what beauty really is and how to measure it.

I would love to tell that sixteen-year old girl sitting next to her Mama who was waking her up in the wee hours of the morning singing Happy Birthday, just how beautiful she was, because she was THERE right in that moment.

Instead, I’m afraid I was just like Pup.
I wagged my tail pretending to be interested and as soon as I got my requisite pat on the head or scratch behind his ears, I was off sniffing something new.

I suppose some lessons the heart can only learn with time.

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