Sometimes, when you are approaching life a la mode, you need to stop and savor a moment. As important as it is to relish in the beauty of a simple act, it is just as important to relish in the beauty of a single moment. I experienced a wonderfully profound one the other week.
Just over a year ago I adopted a Chihuahua and pug mix from a Knoxville animal shelter. She was a rescue from a puppy mill and the shelter had named her Unique. I opted to give her a new name, Sadie. While well intentioned, the moniker Unique seemed a bit too much of a tongue and cheek comment on her distinctively lopsided under bite. A trait that was not considered cute, more unique.
Fast forward to more than a year later. I took Sadie to the vet on an recent Friday morning. After years of neglect, Sadie’s teeth were in dire need of a cleaning. The vet prepared me that Sadie might lose a few teeth, including that distinctive canine. Out of nowhere, I panicked. Sadie couldn’t lose that tooth. She couldn’t lose that canine that defined her beautifully distinctive lopsided under bite. When I picked Sadie up later that day, she had two less teeth but to my relief her canine was still there. Her Sadieness was intact.
And then it happened. Sadie did what she has done over and over again for the last year. She taught me a little something about myself. If I could see her lopsided under bite as a beautiful gift, a gift as wondrous as Mona Lisa’s smile. Then why couldn’t I see what I thought of as my own flaws as just as beautiful. The freckles I hated as a child, the fingernails I can never manage to grow and the multitude of physical and emotional scars that never seem to fade. Aren’t they just as beautiful?
Perhaps, looking at myself through Sadie’s eyes I will start looking at my flaws as features that make me beautiful, beautifully unique. And I can’t think of anything lovelier than unique.