The Path To Bodhichitta

You start where you are, the practice will meet you there.

My Photo
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Keeping It Real

My cousin changed her last name over the weekend. I was one of her bridesmaids. The dress was a floaty piece of baby blue chiffon, dappled with lavender, pale yellow and white. The only problem was that it was knee-length. The last time I wore a hem that high was in 1995. Yes, I have an issue with my legs. The same way some people have an issue with broccoli, exercise or Monday mornings. No further explanations necessary.

The second disturbing factor was the image I felt I needed to create, in order to 'fit in' during that big day. I live in pants, be it jeans, corduroy, linen, cotton, etc. My wardrobe contains 20 pairs of pants and one lonely dress, reserved for very, very special occasions. In other words, I'm not a girly girl. I don't crave manicures, pedicures, facials or Brazilian waxes. I've been getting by on my clean, fresh, au naturel look and I'm perfectly happy. But would that look work with the dress, I agonized.

I was silently mulling over this during a family dinner, when out of the blue RT blurted, "You know, you pretend to be a city girl, but you're not."

I have no idea what inspired those words, but I got the message loud and clear. This wasn't a masquerade. It was a wedding and I should go as myself. Yes, showing off my legs wasn't my style but that didn't mean I needed to reinvent my entire self.

Being authentic doesn't mean shunning self-improvements. It just means selecting enhancing what you already have, instead of disguising them. It means being the same person in two different environment. Wearing a dress didn't mean I had to transform myself into Marilyn Monroe. It just meant I had to make that dress jive with who I am. And I did.

I turned up at the chapel with freshly washed hair, minimal makeup and slathered in my favourite body lotion. No bouffants, war paints or heavy scents for me, thank you very much. And I felt spectacular. The dress didn't bother me one bit because the person in it was still familiar. I was wearing my own skin and that felt better than any designer dress.

Of course, authenticity is more than skin deep. Who you are is the essence of your soul. If you are in touch with your authentic self, you won't be - you can't possibly be! - anyone else, no matter where you are, who you're with or what you're doing.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home