I found it as I was looking through my jewelry box. It had been there, forgotten, for at least fourteen years. A lone earring, but one that had held such power over me in the past. It was just like the earrings that she wore, and in my desperate state of mind, I thought that if I wore a pair of earrings like hers, he would choose me over her. Maybe if I became more like her in every way, my marriage would survive. I began to lose my sense of self, bending and breaking, spiraling into the chaos of fear and doubt. None of it mattered, none of it helped. The marriage didn’t survive. But I did.
So many feelings washed over me as I looked at the solitary earring, its mate serendipitously lost in the incredibly strong winds on top of the Empire State Building on a very cold trip to New York. I was looking at a past life, a past me, in that earring, and my heart hurt for that woman who gave away too much of herself too many times. I remembered the rocky path through and out of it all, the rebuilding of my life and my sense of who I was as a person and a woman. I remembered the tears, the pain…but also the surge of strength that began to course through my veins when I began to rediscover myself.
I want so badly to hold that woman close to me, tell her that she was already worthy, already strong and beautiful- she just didn’t know it. I would tell her that she deserved love, deserved to have the right to speak up for herself and her needs. I would tell her not to regret anything, because each and every step she took led her to a new life of such happiness and possibility- one that she wouldn’t have been ready for if her heart had not been burnished by the fires of pain and loss. So very devastating at the time, but so very worth the price to be here in this sacred space of love and acceptance.
It was time. I picked the earring up, looking carefully at it. So not me in any way, not my style or my choice, a worthless talisman. I felt devoid of emotion, detached. I put it to my lips and kissed it goodbye- a kiss for the woman who was, and for the woman who is now, for once thankful that I can’t go back. Thankful that the earring could not work its magic. Thankful for the here and now. I dropped it in the trash and sent it on its way, wishing it – and myself- peace.