It’s opening night.
All eyes are on the curtain as it slowly begins to rise.
There you are.
He’s looking at you like he’s never seen you before. And with good reason. He hasn’t.
Not like this.
You step out into the spotlight and he sees the woman he’s been waiting for his entire life.
He can’t look anywhere else. You mesmerize him like no one else has ever done before.
The way you move. The way you talk. The way you laugh. Those little things like the way your smile lights up the room.
Like the way you lift your hand to brush a stray strand of hair out of your eyes. Like the way your eyes meet his as you catch him looking at you from across the room.
He smiles at you.
You feel unlike anything you’ve ever felt before.
"Let it be real. Please, let it be real!", you say to yourself, to the Universe, to anyone except him.
Then he’s walking across the room.
Hi, he says. You take a deep breath.
Doesn’t he know it’s me, you wonder?
No, he doesn’t recognize you. He doesn’t think he’s ever seen you before. You’ve been working towards this day for a long, long time. You barely recognize yourself.
You see, you used to look at him that way. So caught up in everything he was, everything he did, everything he said, you lost yourself in him.
Oh it didn’t happen all at once, but slowly, over time, you forgot what attracted him to you in the first place, you forgot your worth, you forgot that there was anything so captivating about you and you began to defer to him.
You began to notice his every word, you started analyzing every little thing he said and did trying to figure out what you meant to him. You lost yourself in him.
Until there came a time when all he saw when he looked at you was a reflection of himself. You sensed the shift, the change in him even if you didn’t know what it was or what had happened.
You – the strong, confident, beautiful woman you once were – was gone.
In her place was a woman who doubted herself, who took her cues from him, who responded with what she thought he wanted her to say and be rather than who she was herself.
You couldn’t have predicted it, no matter how much you tried. But somewhere along the way, something changed. He triggered something deep within you that had nothing to do with him but everything to do with who he represented.
You sensed a change, a shift in him. You went back to the only thing you knew to do when someone pulls back. You love them more! You try harder to give them more of what you think will make them love you more.
You become more of everything you think they want you to be. You become so finely tuned into them, you leave only a shell of you.
Until one day, a little wake up call comes your way.
What are you doing? It asks you.
Why are you choosing to live like this? Who are you living for? Or the more simple … are you happy?
And all of a sudden you realize that you might have a choice. That there just might be another role for you to play here.
It calls to you. Gives you just that tiniest glimmer of hope that there might be something more here for you.
You grab on and hold on tight for the ride of your life. The ride back to you.
Past the "shoulds", right into the midst of the “going through”, until you get to you.
That’s where everything lands. Right in your hands.
It begins with finding your own beautiful power again deep within you. It's still there, Beautiful! It's always been there! It carries right on through as you take those little steps to find yourself again. In the doing, in the living, in the letting go of everything that isn’t honoring to your beautiful self and the finding of the things that bring you back to life again.
Where’d you go? Everyone asks when you get here.
It’s opening night. They’ve all been waiting for you. And so has he. He doesn’t recognize you, but you do.
She’s back. You’re back!
You smile to yourself as you let the significance of all of this sink in. You thought it had to come from him. You thought it was all about something outside of yourself.
Now you have your own little secret; it didn’t come from him, it didn’t come from any place outside of you.
It came from the only place it ever comes from; that beautiful place within you!
So many of you provided the inspiration for this post without even realizing your role. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your journey. I'm honored to be a part of it. And I'd love to hear from you in the comments if this resonated with you.