Maria lived with her mother in a small apartment in NYC. She wasn't too young or too old..not too short or too tall..not particularly beautiful nor ugly..She was just an average woman.
She worked as a secretary at a large company, and her life was pretty much boring and mundane.
No one at work paid any attention to her.. Those that did considered her to be as boring as her life was. One morning, on her way to work, Maria saw a new hat shop that opened down the street. In a spur of curiosity she walked in! In the shop was a little girl and her mother, who came to pick the girl a hat, and another customer who was trying on hats...Maria also tried on a few hats, until she found one she liked. She put it on and It looked nice!
First to notice was the little girl : "Mommy, look how pretty that woman looks with the hat on!"
The mother said: "Ma'am, I must say, this hat just looks wonderful on you!"
The second buyer also came to look : "Ma'am, you look lovely with that hat on!"
Maria went to the mirror.. She looked at herself.. And for the first time in her adult life.. She liked what she saw. Smiling, she went to the counter and bought the hat. As she walked outside a new world revealed itself to her. She never before noticed the colors of the flowers..or the scent of the fresh air.. The sound of the cars and the people.. sounded like an harmonious melody.. She walked as if drifting on a cloud.. with a song in her heart.. When she passed by the coffee shop she walked by every morning, one of the young handsome man called out to her: "Hey,..looking good! Are you new here? Can I buy you a cup of coffee?"
She smiled shyly and kept walking.. floating on her cloud...
When she got to the office building, the doorman opened the door and wished her Good Morning..
Never before had he even noticed her! The people in the elevator asked her the floor she needed and pressed the button for her. The people at the office, as if seen her for the first time flattered her on how lovely she looked today. The manager asked her out to lunch to talk about how she felt at work!
When this magical workday was over she decided to take a cab home instead of the bus. As soon as she put her hand up, two taxis stopped! She took the first one and sat in the back seat..
Thinking about the miraculous day she had and how her life changed thanks to the new hat!
When she got home, her mom opened the door. The sight of Maria took her breath away!
"Maria" she said surprised "How beautiful you look! Your eyes are all lit up like when you were a little girl !"
"Yes, mother" Said Maria
"It's all thanks to my new hat, I had the most marvelous day!"
"Maria" said her mother, "What hat??"
Maria panicked. She touched her head and saw that the hat that changed her life was not there..She didn't remember taking it off in the cab..
Or at lunch.. Or at the office.. She thought back to the store where she had bought it..
How she noticed it for the first time.. She put it on.. Paying for it at the cashier's... And she remembered painfully now.. How she put it on the counter.. To get her purse out to pay.. And how she forgot the hat right there.. On the counter...Then she walked out to the street..
Hat-less yet glowing!
It wasn't the hat that freed Maria, it was the quality of her thoughts! Our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves can enslave us into a horrible bondage or liberate us towards sweet freedom, or have anything we wish for...