I’m not sure how he knew to gift me with perfume, this particular perfume – this man I’d been dating only 6 months. I sprayed it onto my wrists, at the base of my throat, and breathed deep. Perfect.
Though our on-again-off-again relationship ended after 6 years, my relationship with the perfume has lingered far longer. It’s an extravagant purchase, to be sure, but impossible to ignore that it remains “mine.” Yes, perfect.
You’ve experienced this, haven’t you? Someone walks past and you feel heady, nearly intoxicated by the scent they exude. Or you are that person: people notice you are near, the particular and perfect fragrance that is yours. It’s been determined that smell summons memory with more acuity than any of our other senses; when we catch a whi of Play-Doh® or crayons or baking bread we are quickly, easily transported back to that childhood scene. Scent is powerful.
So are you.
There is a “fragrance” that is you, something distinctly present in your very soul; an extravagant you that when poured out, permeates and lingers. It’s impossible to ignore. You are. Perfect.
There is an old story told of a woman who took a bottle of very expensive perfume and poured it out in a place and way that raised eyebrows and summoned responses that were less than receptive and kind. She did it anyway. How she acted, what she did, all that she risked was extravagant. Perfectly her. And whether or not people liked her actions, whether or not they agreed with her legitimacy in their midst, whether or not they were moved by her raw and vulnerable generosity, they couldn’t not be impacted by the fragrance itself, by her very self. It and she permeated the space until none were left untouched. She was impossible to ignore – then and now; her fragrance still lingers. And in such, through such, she still speaks – to your very soul. So breathe deep. Here’s what I imagine she wants you to hear:
Do you hear the voice within that longs to be heard, seen, acknowledged? It whispers truth: You are worthy. You are valued. You are extravagant.
Do you hear the voice within that desires relationship overflowing with truth, mutuality, and passion? It speaks truth: You deserve respect. You are lovely and loved. You are extravagant.
Do you hear the voice within that calls you to generosity, to wild and unconventional behavior, to risk? It shouts truth: You are amazing and wise. You are enough. You are extravagant.
Yes, perfect: my daughter, my lineage, my kin.
And here’s what I want you to hear:
See yourself as whole, complete, and of value – no matter what and all the time.
Because you are.
Stand, eye-to-eye and toe-to-toe, to any and all (within and without) that try to convince you that you are less than beautiful, less than amazing, less than courageous, less than brilliant and wise and exponentially fantastic. Because you are.
Walk into places where angels fear to tread, head held high. Because you can. Express what is most true, most real, even most vulnerable and raw. This is your signature fragrance. You are impossible to ignore. Because you’re you!
Some days I wonder if I should choose a different perfume – now that the two of us aren’t together. But then I open the bottle yet again and spray it onto my wrists, at the base of my throat, and breathe deep. No. It’s mine. Impossible to ignore. Perfect.
Just like you.
Believe me, we’ll follow you anywhere – breathing deep and nearly intoxicated. Impossible to ignore. Perfect.