When I was little, my mum got me a set of beautiful fairy tale books. They were made of stills of cloth made dolls, if I remember right. I was reminded this week of my favourite book of them all. The story that most grabbed my attention was that of 'The Ugly Duckling' by Hans Christian Andersen. As a young child I remember reading the story and identifying myself with the ugly duckling. I can't now remember the exact reason, but I certainly did not think of myself as beautiful. I felt different from others. Yet, the book and the story gave me hope. In the book, that ugly duckling grew up to be a beautiful swan and I had hopes that I too could transform myself into beauty and strength when I grew up. That i could become a swan!
This memory came to the surface as I was walking by a lake and after I had given an Intuitive Healing to someone over the phone who is currently living in Thailand. I have recently bought myself a tarot deck because I thought the images were beautiful and I have been playing with it. I take a card for me each day, asking what is the message for the day. I have been offering FREE Intuitive Healing sessions over the phone for about a week and before I start the session I have been asking the cards a question relevant to that person, and for this particular session the card that came out was the Three of Swords. You will see why I am bringing this up, because the card has a swan (see picture for this post) and its meaning was very relevant to the person I was connecting with. At the end of the session, both the person I had done the healing and myself were full of hope and in good spirits and they asked me what I was going to do with my afternoon. I had planned to do some work and sit in the office but all of a sudden, it felt important to enjoy life and I was called to see the swans by the lake nearby.
As I walked there, I thought of the swan and also remembered some of the messages that I have been reading from the tarot for some of the cards. It describes the swan as beautiful but also incredibly strong and powerful of body and character. The swan chooses a partner for life and will do whatever it takes to protect itself or its offspring. Yet, it looks delicate, elegant and gracious.
In recent weeks I have been trying to get some clarity around the word 'beauty'. I'm not talking about the physical aspect of beauty. I am talking of a deeper sense of beauty that exists within all of us. I can often see the beauty within most people I meet. It sits deep within them but it also shines through the mask most people wear, if you look carefully. Yet, when I am told of being beautiful and how they see so much beauty in me, I do not seem to understand what they mean.
And somehow, this walk, the card that came out, the conversation I had after the healing session and the swan and its symbolism all came together with a thought bursting through my mind that I possibly had the belief that beauty is a sign of weakness (for myself) and I could see clearly that this is not true. Beauty and strength can walk hand in hand and the swan seems to symbolise this very well. It looks delicate and gracious, yet its body is also incredible strong and the same goes for its character. And I could see myself in this and I could understand how there is beauty, strength, kindness in me, all at the same time, and how they fit together.
This all inspired me to write this post as well as coming to the realisation, that I am no longer the ugly duckling and that it is time to embrace and embody the beautiful swan in me.
Continuing my walk and looking at the swans on the lake, I decided on a impulse to go closer to the water and stand on a wooden jetty and look on. As I stood there, I see a swan swimming in my direction. A part of me started saying that I was imagining things and as the swan swam closer that part of me was a little bit scared too. The swan came all the way to where I stood, stayed for a brief moment, and then turned and went in another direction.