Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday Wish (99); Placeholders

photo by rebecca gift via flickr

Fine leather shoes. Tailored pants. Even a scarf. It’s a New York cold so he walks fast. With coffee on his mind. And not just any coffee, coffee from his favorite café. He listens to his shoes tap the cement, nuzzles his chin into his scarf, and anticipates that first sip like a seven-year-old aching for Christmas.

A few minutes later he is sitting inside near the window, people watching. He’s amazed at how many people walk by. On a cold afternoon when coffee is a necessity. He finds himself irritated. Irritated at the fools who refuse to indulge themselves. They are clouding his vision.

Until he sees her … the red convertible.

“I’ve always wanted a red convertible,” he says out loud, “and someday, someday damn it, I’m going to get one.”

“You are, aren’t you?” says a soft-spoken woman sipping on her own cup a few feet behind him.

He turns toward her. “Yep, I am.”

“Did you ever think of why you want it so badly?” she whispers, his eyes nowhere near hers.

“Me? The car? Oh hell, I don’t know. Just seems like me, I guess.”
“Seems like you? To shine?”
“Uh huh.”
“To be seen?”
“Ya. I don’t know. Maybe.”
“To be admired, even envied?”
“Guess so.”
“To be … loved?”
“You getting deep on me, miss stranger with a cup a' joe?”
“Maybe. Maybe I’m a messenger inviting you to realize that you ache for that red convertible so much because you have never been seen or admired or loved for who you really are. Maybe you unconsciously think that that particular car will help you feel those things.”

“You think so?” he says, not really sure if he is willing to show her he is listening.

She continues… “But you know something? You can feel those things, you can heal, without it. Once you finally reveal the feelings you need in life, whatever they may be, you can usually get those needs met without spending a dime. You can be loved. You can be admired. You can be seen for who you are and not just because you drive a red convertible, either.”

“Thanks, but I just realized I’m late. Good talking with you … Shrink.” He turns to say goodbye … but … no one is there. He looks around, expecting to see her, somewhere, but she is nowhere. Nowhere at all.

He re-wraps his scarf, reaches for his coffee, and in seconds he is walking outside, his leather shoes tapping the sidewalk again. But this time his pace is slower. In fact, it slows still more with each step. Everything about him seems to slow down. Way, way down. By the time he rounds the corner he is almost stopped and there, against an old brick wall, he crumbles into a heap, sobs riddling his entire body.

*          *          *

We are human. We need things. Things to keep us clothed and fed and warm. Things to make life easier and more fun and interesting. But sometimes the things we think we need aren’t really things at all. They are merely representations of feelings that are missing from our lives. Placeholders for emotional gaps.

*          *          *

This week my Wish is that you pull the cover off your achings for particular things, that you reveal to yourself, the feelings hiding beneath. Ask the why’s even when you are sure the answers don’t exist. Dare to peek beneath your carefully constructed lids, the lids keeping your emotional truths safely tucked away. Have the courage to own what you feel and to finally give yourself what you know, deep down, you have always needed … and, I dare say, always deserved.

And you know something? Maybe you will still buy the red convertible, but this way, you’ll understand why, you’ll have the emotional intelligence to buy it consciously and the wisdom to make sure it fulfills you on an emotional level. For the way I see it, our deepest emotions are threads leading us to the wisdom of our souls, souls that know exactly how to give us a life of happy, a life of beauty, a life that feels like ... magic.

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