An older colleague walked into a conversation a few days ago. Without knowing the context - and it doesn't really matter - he heard me make reference to being hot.
"You think you're hot?" he asked (it seemed an overly-incredulous tone).
But here's the beauty. Here's the moment of insight.
Because even just a few years ago, such a comment would surely have hurted my feelin's.
But now? I just replied in the affirmative. Yup. Yeah. Of course!
I grew up thinking that no matter what I did I could never be good enough. I could never be perfect enough. I could never be smart enough. I could never be a boy! I could never be lovable. I could never be worthy of anything good - no matter how I tried, no matter what I did.
Now, with a boy of my own, I see. I was smart. I was pretty. I was talented. I was, in fact, very lovable. And I still am. More so now that I am freed of so many of those fears and insecurities.
And - I am *totally hot*!
What does that mean? I'm not an egoist or a narcissist. I know I don't have the looks or the charisma of a movie star or an incredible singer or actress. I don't have the hotness that seems to be valued via a pornesque lens in the common parlance.
But I'm hot to ME. I pay attention to the sensual pleasures of the moment. I appreciate all the various forms of beauty that surround me. I am grateful for my communion - in my own eclectic and sometimes overly-mystical way - with the cosmos. And because everything has its sensual and spiritual appeal, in one way or another, it rebounds back to me too.
And - at my age, finally - I feel a sparkle inside.
How can I explain it?
It's the love of complexity and life and reality as opposed to the paranoia and fear and projections. It's like the difference between Obama and Nixon.
When you've been on both sides, and have chosen, every moment is a kind of revelation. Fear really is the mind-killer.
Yes. I'm hot! And so are you.
Do you notice the little things that make each person unique? Is it possible to describe someone you care about without telling a story about them? Do you know - right now - that you'll always remember the people you care about in your life? Do you have that level of meta-dialogue with yourself?
If you do - it shines, it sparkles. Not always... but enough.
Pay attention. Appreciate. Be grateful.