Forgive me for what you're about to read, as it is maddeningly vague. Trust me that it's as specific as I feel I can be, given a variety of different situations in my life. (The metaphor of the dress applies to two or three somewhat separate things that I'm going through right now.) I want to share a breakthrough that I've had recently - a sense of peace that is so pervasive that I wish I could bottle it and keep it in the medicine cabinet to take a dose when life gets stressful.
You see, I had this dress. The dress was perfect. The fabric was silky and soft against my skin. It was elegant and perfect for every occasion. In fact, I longed for more occasions when I could wear the dress and show off how lovely it made me look. I always got so many compliments every time I wore it. The color and the cut and the pattern made it like the Platonic ideal of a dress to me.
Every time I wore it, I stood in front of the mirror admiring myself. But then, when I went out in it, I would start to get uncomfortable. It was like the dress only fit right if I was standing up straight. When I sat down, it pinched. If I gained five pounds, it was all wrong. When I tried to lift my arms up high over my head, I feared that I would tear the underarm seams. I had to wear certain shoes so that my legs looked right in the dress. Suddenly, I couldn't wait until I could get home and take it off.
But I remained committed to the dress. Maybe if I could just change myself a little, or even alter the dress, it could fit right. I could nip here and tuck there and suck in. I could wear different undergarments. Nothing radical, just some little changes.
But it just never fit. And the dress not fitting caused me to doubt myself.
So, I gave it away.
No more dress. And that is the peace that I'm talking about. Was it sad? Yes. Do I miss the dress? Yes. Do I worry that I may never find another dress like it again? Of course. A girl needs a dress like that! But no matter what I tried, it wasn't the right one for me. It's probably going to look just perfect on someone else.