Hindu tradition is rich with goddesses.
The one goddess that rules them all is Parvati.
Parvati is known in many guises including her incarnation as Annapurna the goddess of plenty, of food. Annapurna has a thousand names. In that incarnation Parvati is symbolic of the divine aspect of nourishing care. She is synonymous with the mother instinct in all women – the cause of creation and dissolution.
This story is a gift that came to me through a wonderful woman in whom everyone confides. The writer shall remain anonymous, not because she is ashamed of her story but because she loves everyone in it. She doesn’t care if you judge her but she does not want you to scrutinise them. At the end of the day, we all live our lives in the best way that we can and in the only way that we know how. So open your minds and your hearts before you read this post.
It is never to late to change the way that you look at things. Read Annapurna’s story and tell me otherwise.
Never been much of a shoe woman. I mean, as a much younger woman I had a few pairs of drop-dead, get-fucked gorgeous stilettos, but I was in the wrong relationship. Oh so very wrong. And my nice shoes came to represent everything I hated about being a girl-woman. My shoes became not about me, but about him. And he was oh so very wrong. For me. For any woman, I think.
So I gave up shoes. At least, nice shoes. My choice of shoe became … versatile. Comfortable. Sensible. No, not sensible! But certainly not – sexy. Because of him, the oh so very wrong for me man. A sexy shoe would have meant – submission. It took four years for me to free myself from him. I left my shoes behind. Because they weren’t about me, they were about him.
I guess it has more to do with a young woman’s self-esteem, or lack thereof, or lack of female role models … or something. Not being able to feel pretty, or even beautiful, for MY sake. No-one else’s. Certainly no-one else’s pleasure. Because of him. Being pretty, or even beautiful, meant I lost a little bit of myself, to someone else. For their pleasure. Not mine.
Life moved on. I met a man who loved me. Still does. A man who doesn’t care if I wear versatile, comfortable shoes. We had children. Oh beautiful children! So I wore my versatile, comfortable shoes because carrying a child on your hip demands it.
And I guess I became … versatile and comfortable.
But then I fell in love. With the right man. Not my husband. My beautiful, loving, wonderful husband. Do you hate me yet? It’s OK. I struggle with it every day.
This man loved me, truly loved me … deeply, passionately, emotionally … for two years before we actually met. In real life kind of met. He had moved into my heart and mind and taken up residence. And I had moved into his heart and mind and chosen the carpet. He made me feel pretty, even beautiful, but not for him. For my own sake. And my own pleasure. He gave me the gift of self-esteem. Of pride.
Just the once. In real life. In public. His hands in my hair. He said, “Oh … you are gorgeous!” We’d already fallen by that stage. Hard. Deep. It was a done deal. I had boots on.
He made me remember what it felt like to be pretty, even beautiful, before the oh so very wrong man. The right man is my true love. The love of my life. And I know I am the love of his. He has told me so. Even though I won’t go to him. I want to. I can’t. We will live with it.
He said to me once, “You know, there is an incredible power in acknowledging a feeling of love where it is genuinely felt, even though it may have very complex implications. Genuine intimacy is so rare in this world where communication is so easy that when it occurs it is quite liberating and exciting. No, I can’t read your mind. But I have a few insights into your soul (only a few). I know that your husband is wonderful, safe and probably the right person to be your husband. But I know, for reasons that I don’t need to understand that he is not your soulmate lover. The latter is a rare and maybe mythical creature – but even the potential of whom changes one’s perspective on life.”
And with that, he healed me. By ‘intimacy’, he didn’t necessarily mean ‘sex’. Although obviously, I want him utterly.
And so I love this right man, yet this love has left another wound in its place.
Judge me all you like. I don’t actually care what you think.
I love him. He loves me. It is an honourable love. Because I remain.
With my beautiful, loving, wonderful husband. And our children. Who love me. And I love them.
When we were expecting our second child, my husband said, “I can’t imagine loving another child as much as I love this one! I am afraid!” I said to him, “Love has no limits, it is boundless … when you need more love, you simply grow more love. And all love is different.” Of course he loves our second child just as much as our first, in different ways, they are different people.
And so I love my husband. And I love the right man. They have both given me gifts these two fine men.
One gave me the gift of true love from another, the gift of the love of children, and the gift of family.
The other gave me the gift of TRUE love. A very different love. A painful love – the pain of which ebbs and flows every day. Every minute – every day. And he gave me the gift of rediscovering my ‘pretty’ … as someone put it recently. I don’t do girly, feminine pretty. I am more your amazon kind of pretty, I think. Does that even count as pretty?
I have bought some new shoes. They are not stilettos, I’m old enough and wise enough to know that they just plain hurt! But my new shoes have heels. Nice heels. They are simple, comfortable … and worn the right way simply ooze sexy.
So where’s the gift in that? Oh, it is a gift to me. Because I hold myself differently, I walk differently, with more confidence and self-esteem. Taller. Sexy. My colleagues think I’m having an affair. Oh the irony.
I will wear nice shoes from now on. And that actually IS all about me.