Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pearl of happiness.


My necklace broke the other day, and I'm not even sad about it.

My aunt gave me this necklace almost three years ago, during a painful time that I wasn't sure I could survive. It came with a little card that called it a "pearl of happiness." I put it on and I wore it every day, only taking it off when I had to; for a while, it felt like my lifeline.

As I healed from within, I kept the pearl around my neck as a reminder of the love I have for my family and for myself. I knew that such a delicate necklace wasn't likely to withstand daily wear forever, so I told myself - in a rare moment of superstition - that it would either break, or I would remove it voluntarily, once I was ready and no longer needed it.

Maybe it just turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I was right.

When my necklace broke, I did feel grief - Wait! It's too soon! - as I carefully tucked the pearl and its chain into a little pocket in my purse. I kept touching my neck throughout the day and feeling a pang; it felt so bare, so vulnerable.

But gradually, I began to feel lighter. The pearl had been my touchstone, but it had also been a reminder of some heavy feelings that it was time for me to leave behind. My life now, while not wholly perfect (whose is?), is mostly filled with joy, love, and companionship. I'm in a good place. I still have my pearl of happiness, but it no longer needs to be an external reminder; I have reclaimed it as an intrinsic element of my self.

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