Perhaps a flaw in my personality, or even a habit that I would like to change, only to find it showing through at a very inappropriate time. But sometimes what we cover up is something authentic, something we need. Excited about this new revelation, I automatically expected to find a reason to share it. After speaking at a recent conference, I met Cathy. She approached me, saying, “I found myself the other day.” “Why? Were you missing?” I replied. “No. I was just hiding,” she said.

She went on to tell me that, when she was younger, she was full of dreams and hopes. But as she grew up, the dreams seemed to fade. Life buried them underneath piles of reality. But in these new found years she has discovered that they were still there all along. Dreaming out loud one day, she heard her mother say, “The real you is showing through.” It was then she realised that just below the surface of her recreated life, all of the “original” Cathy was still there.

“Wow!” I said. “Pentimento!” “What?” she asked. “It is said that our lives start out like a blank canvas. As we grow through life we create our masterpiece. But sometimes we return to paint over the original. One day, after much exposure to a life well worn, the real you comes shining through,” I told her. As I look in the mirror now, the paint may be cracked a bit and

a few lines have appeared. But when the time comes, I will proudly sign my work of art and hang it in the museum of life — next to yours. — (Concluded)