She wore a cloak. It was comfortable and protected her from weather. Her cloak had many secret pockets and places to store anything she might need. She felt safe in the cloak. It gave her so much comfort–from winds and cold temperatures and prying eyes and hard surfaces. She loved her cloak. It was part of her…more important to her than any other possession.
She got so used to wearing the cloak that she decided to never unclasp it from her shoulder. It was easier to be too warm than to let go of the cloak’s safety. The cloak became part of her; she became part of the cloak. Over time, the cloak grew frayed. But she did not remove it. It was sometimes a burden, but, still, she could not remove it. She had grown dependent upon its secret pockets.
When she fell one day and hurt herself, the cloak had to be removed to give her aid. She resisted. She worried more for the loss of the cloak than she did for the ramifications of her injury. She struggled against the medics who insisted the cloak be cut away. She cried in fear at being exposed…
And what was underneath? Do you know? Do you know the feeling of wearing protection against the elements and world and the people in the world? Do you know the feeling of stashing parts of yourself in secret places that no one can find? Do you understand why someone would bear the burden of a cloak–even in warm weather–to prevent the anxiety and fear of being hurt?
If you do, then–like me–you may have memories of your own cloak…and you may know what happened when life evoked the circumstances to remove it…
At first, it was a shock–feeling exposed. All of her secrets fell from the pockets, scattered by the wind. And there was nothing she could do but feel the feelings she’d hidden away–from herself and others. She was seen. And she hadn’t seen herself in so long…well, it was like looking into the mirror at someone unknown. She wasn’t quite sure how to connect with herself.
She did her best. In the midst of dealing with the pain of her injury and its care, she let go and surrendered to being seen. She stopped worrying about what others would see and say and whether she’d lost any dignity and simply humbled herself to being seen. Which is not to say she didn’t wish she still had her cloak… But she didn’t, and she accepted it as the first step toward surviving the experience. She was exposed, and all her sensitivities were awakening to the exposure.
Somewhere in the humble surrender, somewhere in the unveiling of all her secret parts, somewhere in the process of feeling the loss of her cloak…she realized she was going to survive it. She realized that her skin actually enjoyed the fresh air, and her feelings–as sensitive and sad as they were on occasion–were also treasures. She realized that, without them, she had been less.
As she welcomed them home to her, all the tender feelings, she found in herself something more valuable than the cloak… love. She understood the surest protection for the sensitivities within her is love. So she practiced. She loved them, each of them, as she welcomed them into all she is. And then she recognized herself… and no longer felt the need for a cloak.
You may see her around and about–the girl who wore a cloak. She wears authenticity now. When she sees people in their cloaks, she waves. She offers them rainbow streamers of love and awakening, and thanks life for showing her how to be a girl without a cloak.
Thank you. I love you.