Coin

Once upon a time,

There were two girls named,

Lily and Rose.

They were attached at the hip,

And considered themselves sisters.

They loved to sit in Rose’s mother’s garden,

Dreaming of fairies and angels.

They would run and play together,

Falling asleep in the big blue hammock,

Hanging underneath a sycamore tree.

_____________________________________________

As they girls grew,

They were as close as ever.

Finishing each other’s sentences,

Always giggling and laughing.

Lily grew true to her name,

She was tall, slender, and beautiful.

She had an innocence about her.

Rose also grew true to her name,

She was a rare beauty,

But also had a sharpness about her,

Like thorns upon a stem.

They were noticed everywhere they went.

They both excelled at school,

Were admired by many,

And did a lot of the same activities together.

______________________________________________

One day,

As they were finishing up projects for their art class,

The teacher noticed Lily’s painting,

“My, what a talent we have here! Can I just show the class what you’ve made?” she asked.

Blushing, Lily responding, “Uh sure, definitely.”

Everyone praised Lily for her work,

Especially Rose,

Who wore the largest smile of them all,

But felt a sharp pang of pain within.

_____________________________________________

Lily and Rose loved to run,

Rose was particularly good at long distance,

While Lily excelled at short sprints.

During the school’s race,

Lily came in 1st place during the sprint,

While Rose came in 3rd during the long distance run.

Everyone celebrated Lily’s win,

Especially Rose,

Who wore the largest smile of them all,

And felt a bigger pang of pain within,

Which she ignored,

With all of her heart.

______________________________________________

As you know by now,

Lily naturally excelled at most things,

While Rose struggled.

Lily, taking stock of Rose’s struggles,

Always tried to encourage her.

Put Rose first in group activities,

Would sing Rose’s praises,

Highlighting her many gifts.

She quieted her own voice,

Downplayed her achievements,

Put herself aside,

All for Rose.

But no matter how much Lily tried,

All would gravitate towards her,

As though Lily were their sun,

Away from Rose,

Who felt more and more,

Like her shadow.

______________________________________________

During a long distance run,

Rose and Lily ran together.

At first, each was encouraging the other,

Until Lily pulled ahead.

‘Hell no, she can’t have this, this is MY THING!’ Rose thought.

She fought hard to catch up to Lily,

At one point they were tied, neck and neck,

Until Rose, who was tired of feeling like,

A loser,

Bumped Lily’s arm by ‘accident’.

Lily,

Completely caught off guard,

Lost her balance and almost fell over.

Rose pulled ahead and kept going.

Lily, shocked at the reaction of her best friend,

Gathered herself up and ran after Rose.

But it was too late,

Rose crossed the finish line,

And received the accolades she was craving.

‘It’s finally my time!’ she thought to herself.

Feeling betrayed,

Lily took off after the race,

And found herself,

At the sycamore tree.

____________________________________________________

Lily curled up under the tree,

Still reeling from what Rose had done to her.

She was watching from behind the sycamore,

And came and sat down beside her.

“Something the matter Child?” She asked, placing her hand gently upon her shoulder.

Looking over at Her, Lily spoke, “I don’t understand,” she said, “I did everything that I could to make Rose feel better. I quieted my voice, I downplayed my accomplishments, I tried to hide myself and put her first and this – “ she pointed to the small bruise on her arm – “this is what she does to me. Bumps me in the middle of a race so that she could win. She’s suppose to be my best friend. I don’t understand.”

“I have an answer for you,” She said, “but you’ll have to wait 2 days. Come back to this sycamore then and I’ll have your answer.”

She hugged Lily tight, comforting her.

Lily thanked Her and left.

___________________________________________________

Rose came home,

Holding her trophy proudly.

She had received so much praise and attention,

Yet something about it still felt empty to her.

Lily hadn’t been there to congratulate her on her win.

She felt a pang of guilt,

But convinced herself that it wasn’t her fault she bumped Lily’s arm,

‘It was an accident,’ she thought, ‘it could have happened to anyone. Besides she gets everything, so it’s my turn to have something.’

All of a sudden, She appeared by Rose’s side, startling her.

“Woh,” Rose said, “oh it’s You, You scared me!” she said.

“Terribly sorry my Child, I didn’t mean to startle you,” She said, “I suppose congratulations are in order! I can see from your trophy, that’s wonderful Rose.”

Rose beamed, “Yeah, it’s pretty cool huh?” she said as her smile slowly faded.

“What’s wrong Child?” She asked.

“It’s Lily,” she said, “she didn’t even bother to congratulate me. I mean yeah I bumped into her arm, but anyone could have done that! I mean I’ve congratulated her so many times, and she doesn’t even bother to stay and celebrate with me.”

“She feels you did that on purpose.” She said.

Rose, becoming defensive, spoke, “you know what, so what if I did??? Lily gets EVERYTHING, Lily this, Lily that, I just wanted to be someone for a change! I deserve to be 1st too! Why does she have to get everything including what I have??? Long distance running is my jam, not hers! But oh no, Lily has to have that and everything else! I don’t get it, she’s suppose to be my best friend. I don’t understand.”

“I have an answer for you,” She said, “but you’ll have to wait 2 days. Come back to this sycamore then and I’ll have your answer.”

She hugged Rose tight, comforting her.

Rose thanked Her and left.

__________________________________________________________

Two best friends,

Attached at the hip,

Who called one another ‘sister’,

Completely ignored each other.

2 days had passed.

Each made their way back to the sycamore tree,

Where She stood.

“What’s she doing here???” They both asked of one another.

“Thank you both for coming,” She said, “I promised to have an answer for both of you, here it is.”

She presented a coin to each girl.

“You call this an answer?” Rose said.

“I don’t get it.” Lily said.

She smiled while looking at them, “there are always two sides to every coin. In this case, each side is laced with poison; the poison of jealousy and the poison of resentment.”

She continued, “You both failed to see the gifts that you were offering to one another.”

“What gift is that? The gift of being her shadow??” Rose asked.

“How about the gift of being betrayed by the one person who I thought loved me!” exclaimed Lily.

“That’s enough!” She said, “My Child, Lily’s gift to you was the gift of wholeness. Rose, you became Lily’s shadow when you started to think that she was your competition. When a strong, self assured woman stands in the presence of another strong, self assured woman, both of their lights shine as brightly as the sun. One doesn’t become the shadow, because she recognizes herself as light as well.”

In that moment of awareness, Rose’s pang of pain that remained hidden, started to surface and pour through her eyes.

She placed Her hand gently on Rose’s shoulder, and then turned to Lily.

“Lily, My Child,” She spoke, “Rose’s gift to you was the gift of appreciation; appreciation of self. You made yourself small, you softened your voice, all in an effort to make Rose feel better. Why? So that she could continue to love you? Did you not feel that she could love you unconditionally? Or rather, did you not feel that you deserved that from her?”

She continued, “When a woman truly loves and appreciates herself, she will decide to continue to shine her light brightly, knowing fully well that the ones that she loves may reject her out of their own fears. But that woman has courage; she trusts in the power of her light to lead those who have rejected her back to their truth, and sometimes, even back to her.”

Feeling this in the depths of her heart, Lily closed her eyes, her face furrowing with pain.

“You two have a choice,” She said, “let these poisons consume your friendship or choose forgiveness by accepting the gifts that you’ve just taught each other. As always, the choice is up to you.”

She touched both girls’ shoulders tenderly and took her leave.

Lily and Rose both were looking down at the ground,

Taking in what they had just heard.

The blue hammock which had faded over time,

Was gently swaying back and forth in the wind.

Both girls looked over at the hammock,

Then turned to face one another.

“I shouldn’t have done that to you,” Rose said,

“No, I shouldn’t have done that to you,” Lily said.

They reached for one another,

Holding each other close.

Sisters once more,

Joined at the hip.

They turned towards the sycamore tree,

And turned towards each other.

As if communicating telepathically,

They smiled and climbed into the hammock.

The sycamore was strong,

But the hammock was not.

’THUD’ they both went,

Hitting the ground.

The girls began laughing hysterically,

While She looked on,

With a wide smile spread across Her face.

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