I haven’t written anything in quite some time. My creativity has just been completely blocked. Luckily (for my own sanity), like magic, inspiration just struck in the form of a photo. My sister had posted the family gem on Facebook a while back. But, the deep feelings it stirs within me weren’t uncovered until just yesterday when I opted to hone in on myself – a little rosebud just ready to bloom.
To Each His Own Memories
On Christmas Eve my three siblings and I had been discussing the circumstances of the meticulously posed pic which was orchestrated as a gift for our parents. Each of us had a unique memory of that day. My eldest sister Kristi reminded us that the in-home studio where the picture was taken must have been 100 degrees leading to a sticky, sweaty situation that was only amplified by the hideous velvet couch on which we were all forced to perch. My brother Karl had to be reminded, but once the recollection set in, he agreed that he did in fact want to strangle the photographer whose posing strategies and inability to get one decent shot was a comedy of errors that at the time Karl did not find funny. Cheryl remembered that she had the worst sunburn of her life and was glistening like a glazed ham. I was only four, yet, even at that tender age I clearly possessed a devilish sense of humor. What I remember most is the fact that the photographer’s son was running around the house in his underwear. The smirk on my face tells all.
Not Just a Nose
As I study that photo today I am drawn to something that few would likely notice or even understand. Like a heat-seeking missile my attention is fixated on the cute, perfectly straight, little nose that used to adorn my face. I look at it with envy and longing, as that nose disappeared just a few short years after the picture was taken. When I was six I broke said nose in a terrible fall. Years after that my nose continued to take a beating, being slammed by a bathroom door at a junior high dance, and later getting flattened like a pancake by a basketball. The basketball injury seemed to be a blessing at the time because it actually realigned my septum for a short period. That is until a volleyball was spiked into my face sending the nose heading the other direction. When I finally saw an Ear Nose and Throat specialist in my earlier thirties, after growing tired of numerous sinus infections and the inability to breath, the good doc informed me that the inner-workings of my nose were not just crooked; they were in a zig-zag formation. He could help me breath again, but a beautiful nose was not likely in the cards. Why would that even matter? If I could finally breath freely that would be better than a beautiful nose. That is what I told my rational self, but deep down what I really wanted, what I still want, is a cute nose.
We Each Have a Thorn
My nose is my thorn. We all have one – that one thing that we fixate on – that we wish were prettier, smaller, straighter, longer, thinner, lighter – whatever! Unless you are highly enlightened, you probably know right way what your thorn is. I remember years ago hosting a girl’s night at my house. As a group of us gathered together, glasses of wine in hand, conversation turned to our thorns. It started innocently enough with one friend saying to another, “I love your feet. They are beautiful.” I roared in laughter. “Her feet?!” The friend who offered the compliment then explained that she hated her own feet believing they were too big. My own sister Kristi has lamented about the fact that she never liked her toes. Her toes! Who even sees your toes? As each of us discussed our thorns, we came to the conclusion that perception is highly individual, and the things we notice about ourselves are often not what others even see.
Why Not Focus on the Petals?
So, as I look at that picture of the four-year old me I start to understand that if it weren’t my nose that I fixated on, it just might be something else. It is all a matter of perception, and I MUST change that perception to be positive. I want to love who I am. And, I want others to love who they are too. So, I leave you with this to ponder – instead of fixating on your thorns, notice your beautiful, abundant petals. And, if you are so brave, please comment below with what you believe are your best attributes.