I was passing through my home office today — probably trying to find a phone charger, a form I forgot to sign for one of my kids, or a piece of chocolate. By the way, all of those things are in there somewhere — I found some chocolate, for sure. And I found this photo.
There it was, right where I could see it as I sat in my chair. I didn’t put it there; I’m not sure who did. In fact, it captured my attention because I really don’t think I’ve seen it before; or if I have, it would have been at least 12 years ago.
The photo was taken by one of my brothers or sisters-in-law while we were on a trip together in Paris, France in the summer of 2000.
I remember buying that fleece pullover in London earlier in the week because, for whatever reason, I didn’t think to pack something for cooler weather that July. The pullover was cheap and would fit over my pregnant belly, so I wore it almost every day we were there. I didn’t feel very chic, but I was warm.
It was raining that day. And I don’t remember this moment — this moment where my husband pulled us into the narrow shelter of a building and kissed my hair while I was laughing. The guy with the umbrella and backpack (touriste?) walking past. The white Renault whizzing by in traffic.
But I really think God, an angel, or the Universe wanted me to see this photo today.
To see myself: Uninhibited. Unabashedly emoting. Being loved. Loving. Traveling. Sheltered. Free.
So I am sharing because the whisper I heard (and needed to hear) from this photo was this:
You are uninhibited — you’re too bright to hide.
Laugh louder. It’s beautiful and it feeds you.
You are so loved.
And you love so deeply.
You will travel to Paris again next month and it will be magical.
You can seek the comfort of shelter and step into freedom. They’re not mutually exclusive. Because you’re Laura, your soul lets them work in concert.
Pick up a pile of photos. Scroll through the library of them on your phone. Find a photo of yourself and listen to what you need to hear.
And if you’d like to share them with me, I’d be honored; in fact, I’d love it.
You can comment below or share photos and comments with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.