My Manicure Taught me a Lesson

1 Nov

When we’ve spent a lot of energy, time and money to make something happen, we are often reluctant to let it go, even when we realise that we are not happy in this new situation.

This evening, I decided to set aside some time to give myself a manicure. I lit a scented candle in the bedroom, put on my favourite relaxation music and set up everything I needed to pamper my nails. I was happy to be giving myself an Filing Nailsopportunity to look after myself, and was looking forward to having beautiful nails at the end of the evening. I filed, buffered and polished my nails, and was feeling very relaxed and serene. However, when it came to applying the French-manicure polish given to me by a friend, even my aromatherapy candle couldn’t stop frustration boiling in my chest. I spent fourty minutes applying the nail polish, to realise at the end that there was a fault with the brushes – they were out of shape and were creating lumpy and striped paint. I was disappointed and angry; I expected pretty nails, but ended up having to remove all of the nail polish!

After the failure of the French-manicure set, I decided to paint my nails peach, with a polish I’d bought in the summer. While waiting for the polish to dry, I lay on the bed looking at my nails. “How ugly”, I thought, suddenly. To my surprise, I found the nail polish to be plain, bland and boring. It made my hands look short and stumpy, instead of being a subtle charming accessory.

“I’ve spent the whole evening trying to make my nails look pretty”, I thought. “It would defeat the point to take the polish off”. I turned my hands to look at them from different angles; I brought them closer to my eyes, then took them further away. I was trying to convince myself that they were fine, that they would do, that after all the time and effort that I spent, I couldn’t allow myself to be unhappy with them.

I stared at my nails, but felt embarrassed rather than pleased.

“Why keep it if it doesn’t serve me?”, I thought and jumped up to remove the nail polish. I felt a sort of relief at not having to put up with something that didn’t fulfil me. “It’s better to have nothing than to be unhappy with what I have”, I thought.

I didn’t end up with what I had originally wanted or expected at the beginning of the evening, but the lesson that I learnt was worth more than two perfectly manicured hands. I realised that there are things in other parts of my life that I am reluctant to let go of or to change. I spent energy, time and money to bring these things into my life and feel as if I should be happy and satisfied now that I have them. But isn’t life like nature? We all have our seasons; without autumn and winter there would be no spring and summer. Without abandonment and emptiness, there would be no rebirth and abundance.

This week, I will make a conscious effort to recognise the things to which I am holding on, yet which no longer serve me, fulfil me or bring me joy.

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4 Responses to “My Manicure Taught me a Lesson”

  1. Piia 02/11/2011 at 09:36 #

    So very true. I think sometimes we get so blindly attached to things that we have and that surround us that we really no longer even question them. We become dependent on things that, as you said, no longer serve a positive purpose for us. And on a lighter note, I have to say that I’ve never been able to give myself a french manicure, no matter if the brushed were perfect or not…:)

    • l0ve0utl0ud 03/11/2011 at 21:05 #

      French manicures are a very tricky business! I think I’ll just try getting a normal manicure done nicely, first 😉

  2. Cherie 02/11/2011 at 15:47 #

    Hear hear! This is a great example of the microcosm reflecting the macrocosm…and kudos to you for ‘getting’ the bigger picture (I know how frustrating self-conducted french manicures can be…lol).

    • l0ve0utl0ud 03/11/2011 at 20:57 #

      Oh yes, frecnh manicures sure are frustrating! Luckily, my first one brought me something magical, too 🙂

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