Wednesday, May 8, 2013

If the Sweater Fits Why Didn't I Wear It?

The unusually cool May temperatures prompted my digging this sweater out of a drawer recently.   Like Joseph with the coat of many colors who was betrayed by his brothers, I've thought of this as my sweater of many colors. 

Wearing it recently though first prompted sadness.  I've hardly worn it since buying it at a London market in 1984.  Thirty years ago its colors complemented my hair.  My hair was brown then.  Today my hair is gray.  Strangers, acquaintances and friends periodically and randomly remind me.  People with white hair say, "Your hair's white."  People with dyed hair say, "Dawn, you're gray"  I've yet to add, "And what are you, really?"  or "What does that mean? Are you telling me I'm old?" whatever that means. 

Most days I feel ageless.  As for my hair, I didn't even realize it was gray until two years ago.  As I sat in a friend's home, she turned to her mother and said, "Hair is always darker when it's wet."  I don't recall the context in which this was shared.  All I know is in that moment I had a quiet, informative epiphany.  I realized the only time I really look in the mirror is when I'm drying my hair.  This combined with the fact that my bathroom walls are painted chocolate made me realize my hair was not as brown as I thought it was.

The sweater reminds me these colors don't quite complement my "new" hair as much as it once did.  Yet today it reminds me of something more important than hair color.  It reminds me of the adventurer I am, the me who early in life traveled to Europe, Russia and South Africa and has later in life backpacked into the Grand Canyon twice and is planning to return again.

The sweater fits, yet I have not worn it.  More importantly, if mySelf fits why have I not been me?

This sweater reminds me I have not always been myself.  I don't need Joseph's brothers or others to betray me.  Intermittently through life I have betrayed myself every time I have forgotten who I am, every time I stopped listening and disconnected  from my heart or tuned out what's really important because of fear.  My fear has run so quiet and deep.  

I have been sad at times that it took so long to try "Me" back on, yet there is beauty and grace that the me who bought this sweater is actually the me I have become.  Suddenly along Life's winding path, I have grown into the person who first bought this sweater, the Me I was born to be.  The sweater too is ageless.  It goes with the "New Me" which is the "Old Me" who purchased it in the first place. Its many colors remind me of who I really am. 

Who are you?  Does fear ever hold you back from doing something you feel called to or really want to do?  What keeps you from listening or tuning in to your heart's path?

I imagine for all of us the Shift of becoming more fully who we came here to be. 

-Dawn, The Good News Muse  7 May 2013

1 comment:

Jennifer Akes said...

I think at some point in our lives we realize we have been living for others and no longer for ourselves. Am not sure if that happens because our roles in life change or because we are people change. But love your writing and think you are the bomb. I look forward to future submissions and musings.