Today was her time to talk and my time to listen.
It was not the listening to tell my own story or the listening to offer up advice, I was listening to understand and honour all the deliciousness, that once blended together, creates the unique and interesting woman now sitting before me.
It had long been her way to listen to others first. Offering up her own dedicated ears to patiently listen to all the triumphs, concerns and woes of those around her.
She was accustomed to remaining quiet, protectively drifting gently into the background. Mistakenly believing others had more to offer and were much more interesting than her.
Today there were fleeting moments of confidence, random glimpses at her quirky humour and brief insights in to the distinctive treasures she was holding close within.
She was like a tightly closed bud, and I wondered when the time would be right for her to flourish and reveal her vibrant self.
She was basking in the joy of being heard, the words now dripping from her mouth pouring out with the essence of her truth.
One by one her petals slowly uncurled, the bud opening and exposing the profoundly beautiful creation within.
Her guard now down she shivered. An awareness of her vulnerability becoming physical.
I respected this moment and waited for her to continue.
Blinking away tears she told me how lost and invisible she felt, even to herself.
How she would look in the mirror and not recognise the person staring back.
How accustomed she was to pleasing everyone else, and how she no longer felt she knew who she was or what she wanted.
How she had neglected her needs for years, and forgotten how to be herself.
She felt unattractive, unheard, unappreciated and ultimately unhappy.
We continued to talk for more than an hour and she told me of her adventures, her dreams, her loves and eventually her secret desires.
Her eyes began to twinkle and the corners of her mouth curled up. I was seeing the flower that was indeed waiting to flourish and it was exquisite.
If only I could offer her my eyes and allow her to see the beauty that is all her own.
If with my ears she could hear the sweet melody of her voice.
And with my heart she could feel the enormous effect she has on all those she meets.
Would she then stand tall and proud, openly displaying her bouquet in all its colour and vibrancy?
It was in this moment of deep trust and authenticity that she blossomed before my very eyes. As I watched her prepare to leave I saw how she carefully closed her petals once more.
This flower was not yet ready to remain in full bloom.
Instead of closing ranks around your unique embellishment, discover a way to express yourself safely and wholeheartedly.
How long since you felt the confidence and assurance to be out in full bloom?
The world can never have too many colours and I for one am mesmerised by flowers and rainbows.