After our mother died the job of clearing out her closet fell to my sister and me. I remember looking at her rows of shoes and rack of clothes, overwhelmed by all the memories of seeing – and hearing – her in them. She had a particular way of walking that seemed to place slightly more pressure on one foot that the other. The effect was that she sort of clip-clopped when she walked. I could always recognize the sound of her footfall, as could the dogs, who would go racing out to meet her whenever she got home. In front of me now lay her sandals and her pumps – her ordinary, everyday mom-shoes. She used to say she loved shoes, and would often go into boutiques and peruse their shelves. However, she would invariably walk out empty-handed. The rows of shoes lying in front of me reflected her restraint. Nothing too fancy.
We had almost cleared the closet when we spotted two, unopened boxes stashed away in the back corner. Imagine our shock when we discovered within them two pairs of the most gorgeous, expensive, stiletto-heeled, Italian designer shoes! They were fabulous! And, unworn. Dad hadn’t even seen them before.
It turned out that one of mom’s friend’s, with whom she regularly had lunch, had persuaded her on two occasions to indulge herself, to give herself permission to have something she coveted. Her friend told us how much fun those lunches with mom had been, and how much mom had reveled in the purchase of those pumps. Those high-heeled Italian stilettos were an expression of a part of mom that she kept hidden from us. When she got home, they went into their boxes and got pushed to the back of her closet.
It broke my heart to realize that there had been a sassy, glamorous, stiletto-wearing woman in my mother that she felt she had to hide at home. It broke my heart again to see my dad’s confused, sad reaction when he realized she’d been afraid to show him her shoes – that she’d hidden parts of herself from him.
My mother deserved to be, to express and to love all of herself! She deserved to have a life that reflected and honored all of who she really was! And dad deserved to have a wife who loved and honored and was all of herself!
Disowning, or hiding, parts of ourselves not only denies us the opportunity to live full, authentic, sassy high-heeled lives, but it robs the people around us of the opportunity to really know and love us for who we are – completely! Refusing to love all of yourself imprisons those around you in a role-play that denies everyone the chance to love you. And, as you are a reflection of them, refusing to love yourself locks them into a drama that prevents them from loving the part of themselves that you represent. The best thing you can do for yourself, and for the world around you, is learn to love yourself. Completely. Unconditionally. Gracefully.
Every one of us is a magnificent expression of extra-ordinary wisdom and symmetry in the Universe! It is life transforming to suddenly come face-to-face with one’s essential nature, and to catch a glimpse of the matrix of love that gives us life. It’s an experience that occurs when one’s mind suddenly comprehends the symmetry and synchronicity of opposing forces that are omnipresent in one’s life. This sudden comprehension simultaneously humbles one’s mind and opens one’s heart, facilitating the release of that most powerful of all healing forces: unconditional love for what is.