My past life drains behind me as I prepare to transform again. This time there will be no running away, no half measures but rather a descending to the deepest part of myself. I know that I am within reach this time, that I carry the seed of what I will become inside me.
The only option now is the extreme one, the one that leaves no doubt. Too many times, I have squandered my dreams. I am now at a point where the extreme option is the only option. I have forced myself into this corner over the years and finally I am here.
I stand in a long corridor. It is dark, paneled in wood. On each side of the corridor are doors. It is an endless parade of doors stretching on each side as far as I can see. Behind each door there is a portrait of someone very much like me, but not quite.
One portrait shows me more fearful than I am. Another shows me a little too self-assured. In another I am more bitter. Each portrait is close enough to me that I must stand before it, looking carefully to discern the difference. I know that I must keep opening doors until I find the one portrait that is the pure expression of myself, that matches me in every way.
I am the great Try-er-on of Things and many times I have lingered long in lives that were not mine.
These are the people I have been. Each portrait is different, but there is one thing that joins them all: they are reflections of who I was when I fell short of becoming my full self.
If you stop short, if you tire of opening doors and give up before finding the one portrait that represents you to perfection, then the portrait that you have chosen will condemn you every time you look into it. It will hang on your wall, it will be displayed on the front of your house, be emblazoned on the car you drive, trail you like a banner in the air as you walk down the street. It will glare at you with its accusing eyes. It will smirk.
Along our path, the opening up of wrong doors and the gazing into the eyes of portraits that are not you but nearly could be is part of the process of discovery. There is no way to find the right door and the right portrait without making some mistakes along the way. But if you linger too long and allow the portrait to seduce you and transform you into a mirror of it, then you will pay the ultimate price.
Our transit through this life is too short and the bitter taste of failure too acrid to accept the lives that are not ours. We must keep the flame burning.
I will open the next door.