To The Woman In Line At Starbucks
You’re a few spots ahead of us in line. My son points you out. Thankfully he’s past that age where he just blurts out whatever’s in his head, in public at least. Instead, he tugs on my arm so I’ll lean down and he whispers in my ear, “Mom, I get the feeling that lady doesn’t like herself very much.”
I squeeze his shoulder and silently agree.
See, I'd already noticed you, but I kept my thoughts to myself. The very exact thoughts he's having. I would never say what I was thinking to him, or anyone else out loud. But he brought it up and it’s clear, we're seeing and intuiting the same thing.
We notice your perfectly assembled outfit, complete with white and rhinestone stiletto heels that make your already tall self, tower over everyone around. When you take a step, you wobble slightly, but outwardly hold your composure, like you’re practicing for the tight rope.
We notice your professionally manicured toes and fingers. The white tips accented with rhinestones, in keeping with the shoes.
We notice your pristinely groomed and platinum bleached hair, which draws attention to your liberally, albeit expertly applied makeup.
We notice your overly plump lips, which appear to be covered in some type of glossy red shellac.
We notice your flawless, wrinkle resistant complexion that keeps even the slightest trace of emotion, tightly under wraps.
We notice your masterly sculpted figure, curved and lifted in all the right places.
But most of all, we notice your eyes. We see the sadness, fear and uncertainty, that you aim to keep hidden under the eyelash extended, permanently lined mask.
They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. If you look at a person, I mean really look with your whole being, you can see their soul. If you pay attention in the right way, you can feel the kind of energy it emits – be it joyful, light, stifled or fractured.
Now here, in Starbucks, we see your soul, both my son and I. We witness it trying to get your attention. It wants desperately for you to acknowledge its presence. It wants you to hear past all the noise around you, and in your own head.
We want to tell you that it's trying to talk to you, but that’s just not the kind of thing one does in line at a Starbucks. Besides, soul acknowledging, is work a person really has to do for themselves, if it's going to stick.
Granted, just about everyone in line notices you too, but as far as I can tell, they only see your impeccably crafted exterior, just as you intended. None of them see your soul, like we do.
I look around and take note. They’re busy looking at their phones, chatting with their friends or listening to their thoughts about shopping and school assignments, about work and what’s for dinner.
This is all perfectly normal human stuff and it could easily be me on any given day. It’s just that on this particular day, in this particular moment, we both happen to be fully present, my son and I.
So, we see the insecurity, the uncertainty, the pain, and the truth that are lurking behind the meticulously constructed smoke screen.
We see that somewhere along life’s path, you got the message that you were not enough, and you believed it. You, like so many of us, were conditioned to think that chasing perfection is the way to happiness.
Just one more nip and tuck, one more $100 lipstick, one more runway worthy ensemble, and happiness will surely come rushing in.
Despite all your striving, happiness has remained elusive. We see it. Both my son and I.
Something's just nudged you to look my way. Our souls witness each other, and a sudden flash of awareness appears in your eyes.
Your soul has been waiting so long for you to take notice. Now, here in the line at Starbucks, it seems that maybe you just have.
There is so much your soul wants to tell you, if you will allow it.
It wants you to know that worth is not measured in dollars or handbags or bust size. It wants you to know that if you keep listening, it will always guide you back to your true self. The self that doesn’t rely on external forces to feed it. The self you are truly at peace with.
Above all, your soul wants you to know that you are most definitely enough. You always were. You always will be.
We can hear it whispering all these things to you, and sense that ever so faintly, you can hear it too.