She has been glancing into the mirror a lot lately,
Part of her wonders if her reflection sees the difference inside of her, the flame that was snuffed out long ago but has only recently been lit again? Even though her reflection is essentially her, there are some that said that a reflection was your soul looking back at you. Did her soul see her as she really was?
She had spoken to her daughter and it hadn’t gone well. There had been a lot of yelling and accusations, of trying to steal her fire, of taking away her flame. She hadn’t risen to the bait, knowing that if she stayed true to herself, her own flame would grow brighter.
Lately, though, her flame had started to splutter and she could feel it flickering inside of her, struggling to stay alive, to stay awake so that it could light up all the shadows around her. She placed a hand on her lower abdomen. It was where she could feel it most, a fluttering wind of want and need.
Standing in front of her mirror, Cindy placed her hand on her lower abdomen and breathed deep. She could feel the flame growing stronger if she focused, but if she gave into the thoughts that the shadows offered her, the flame would grow smaller. It had been like this for weeks since she had met Michelle.
Cindy tried not to turn inward, tried not to let the shadows win. She was surprised, therefore, when her reflection winked at her. *Hello Lovely* it said.
“How can you be talking to me?” Cindy asked.
Her mirror self raised her eyebrows. *How can you be talking to me?*
Cindy nodded. “Fair point.”
*So what’s been bothering you? You might as well say it out loud as I can hear it inside of you loud and clear.*
“That’s what I get for letting you know me so well.”
*Yeah, and so what? What’s up, Lovely?*
Cindy thought about it for a moment. “I’m afraid. “
“Of what others will think. Of what they will say. Of what society will think of me.”
Her reflection gave her a knowing look. *Does any of that really matter?*
“Of course it does.”
*No, I’m asking you to think about it. Does any of that matter? Wouldn’t you rather focus on how Michelle makes you feel?*
Cindy shook her head. “I don’t know how other people do it. How can they be so open with who they are? How can they be so fearless?”
Her reflection put a finger to her lips in thought. *Maybe they’ve spent so long being afraid of who they are that the chance to finally be themselves breaks down all the walls they have built. They are tired of hiding who they are and would rather shine brightly*
Sighing, Cindy reached out to touch the mirror softly with a fingertip; the gesture sent ripples along the mirror’s surface. When the ripples cleared, the mirror was empty. She turned and saw a woman standing there. She had white hair and wise eyes that seemed to sparkle with the stars themselves.
“You are so wise, child.” The woman said. “Why do you deny who you are?”
Cindy shook her head. “Fear. Of myself, of what others will think.”
“Who cares about others. Why are you holding back?”
“Of being yourself? Or being happy?”
A tear streaked Cindy’s face, making it look as if her skin were covered in glass. “Both. “
The woman took her hands. “Never be afraid of being who you are and who you are meant to be. You have a light inside you, here.”
The woman placed a hand on Cindy’s lower abdomen. “You need it to reach here.” She placed her hand on Cindy’s heart. “Can you do that?”
“I’ve forgotten how.”
“No you haven’t. Don’t let fear stop you from doing you, dear heart. Now do you feel that light?”
Cindy could feel the small flame fluttering inside her. It was so weak, it was almost gone, almost a thing of the wind. “I feel it.”
“Then sing to it.”
Raising her eyebrows, Cindy said “Sing to it?”
“Sing, chant, pray, do whatever you have to do. You need to shine like the Star that you are and you can’t do that when you’re blocking your own light. It’s just not right!” The older woman looked affronted.
“I don’t know how.”
“Pish. That’s the other people speaking. I want you to do something for me. I want you to think of Michelle and just picture her in your mind, will you do that for me?”
Cindy nodded and closed her eyes. She placed one hand on her lower abdomen and one hand on her heart. Inside herself, she wandered in the garden of her mind. She came upon the centre of the garden and saw that someone had built a lifelike statue there. It was Michelle. She was beautiful, yet, but more than anything else, Cindy saw Michelle’s kindness, her sense of humour, her strength of spirit. She seemed to glow and pulse in time to her heartbeat.
“I want you to open your eyes.” The woman said. Cindy wondered if this woman was her soul.
When she opened her eyes, she saw that the room was filled with a bright, shining light. She looked around for the source of the light and the woman motioned for her to look down. Cindy let out a gasp when she saw that it was her that shone as brightly as a star.
“Never be afraid to be who you are.” The woman said. “Look at what you can accomplish when this is so.”
The light, and the old woman, began to fade. “But what about other people? What if they object?”
“Fuck them.” The woman said. “You only have one life, you need to get busy living it.”
When the woman disappeared, the glow faded from Cindy’s skin but the light stayed lit within her.