In my previous blog I spoke about connecting with other men and women in order for them to weigh in on who should “Break The Silence” first when there is a mutual attraction ie. dating/romantic interest. However there has been a change of plans. I did begin speaking to a few individuals and have already gathered some interesting information, but I came across something I found rather interesting. While scrolling on Facebook a friend shared a video. After watching the video I had a very in depth conversation with the male friend who shared the video clip. Through the course of the conversation many thoughts and feeling came to the surface in which I felt compelled to share.
The scenario is as follows. A couple is on vacation and making a stop at the beach. The narrator begins the breakdown the fear women have about their husband or boyfriend looking at other women and what is actually going through mind of a man when the incident actually occurs. The Unspoken Fear women have is if her mate is looking at another woman, he finds her more attractive, is secretly dissatisfied in the relationship and therefore will end relationship to seek a more fulfilling one with someone else. He then explains the thought process of men and how the fear women have in this area is unfounded. The clip made a very strong argument and got me thinking.
Currently I am not in a relationship and haven’t been in one for quite some time, however I too have some fears surrounding a man being happy with my physical appearance. I have always had weight issues. At one point I was almost 400lbs and although I am no longer at that weight I wonder if someone would be satisfied with me ie. my weight and composition. Currently I am working towards getting to a weight I am more comfortable with, but these thoughts do still cross my mind. I’ve never really felt desirable or thought that any man would be satisfied with me (at any weight), and yet the basis of this mindset will set up any relationship I have to fail. I will always be looking for something to “nick pick” at and doubt their heart and affection for me because deep down I struggle with accepting myself. Entering a relationship like this will destroy it before it starts, intern reinforcing how I already believe. This what you would call a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Working in the area of Social Services I have seen this pattern far too many times to count. What you secretly fear ends up happening because you make it happen. What you believe impacts your decisions, perceptions and how you interact with others. If you are constantly living in a cloud of insecurity, attached to shame about your body, while hurling accusations at your significant other you will hinder the strength of your relationship. Therefore your behaviour pushes the individual, thus creating the reality you don’t want.
First off….ENOUGH WITH THE BODY SHAMING!!! If you don’t like how you look take the necessary steps to change it, however in the mean time LOVE yourself in whatever state you’re in. Secondly do NOT project your own distorted views of yourself onto somebody else. Embrace the idea that someone may actually find you attractive and, dare I say, desirable. Don’t push someone away simply because of a few outlandish thoughts; thoughts that are based out of fear. From a woman’s perspective I am not fond of the whole idea of “I can look, I just can’t touch”, nevertheless we live in a world that even as a woman it is hard not to look. The reality is men are made to be stimulated with what they see. Needless to say a glance is not really enough to reduce your self-worth and question his satisfaction within the relationship. I know this is easier said than done, but I feel it is worth effort especially if the relationship means something to you…..
I know….Where have I been?! There is so much I can that would fully explain my disappearing act, however there is two words which sums it all up: “In Process.” This journey of accepting myself, changing careers and discovering the deeper parts of who I am has been a major endeavor. This type of transformation leaves one quiet, reflective and feeling quite lonely. They say a change of this kind usually occurs in your late teens/early twenties, but the truth is it can happen at any age or at any time. You simply have to be open to it and willing to do the necessary work to complete the process. I have experienced many highs and lows thus far, nevertheless they have all played a role in moving me into a greater sense of purpose and identity. Some call it an awakening or an epiphany, but I’d rather call it seeing what lies “Beneath The Surface.”
The journey of self-discovery is one trip everyone should at once (or twice) in their life time. Life experiences and events have a way of shaping many aspects of who we are. I guess that’s why I ended up in Social Services serving youth and families. The study of human behaviour, the nature of families and how we relate to one another has always interested me. Yet I have come to realize we don’t take the same time to assess and critique ourselves; analyzing our own patterns of behaviour, take inventory of our own thoughts and boldly looking behind things in our lives that are just taking up space. This is where the work really is. Asking yourself the hard questions and being willing to search for the answers.
Some think if you get a new wardrobe or hairstyle, job/position, house or relationship that you have somehow transformed or invented yourself. In some small way you have, but that is not the kind I am referring to. Real transformation happens from the inside out. Looking at yourself – the good, the bad and the ugly – and deciding to make changes. Going beyond the temporal circumstances of life and seeing all that is within you. This is not an easy thing. Truth be told this process has probably been the most challenging time of my life. Enduring the pain, discomfort, uncertainty, loneliness and at times even shame until I arrive at a deeper understanding of who I am and what the next phase in my life will be.
We live in a age where people hide. Hiding who they are, how they REALLY feel about themselves and where they are at in life. They hide behind relationships, position, social status’, money and so much more. I for one got tired of wearing a mask a long time ago and I made a promise to myself. That I would do whatever it takes to ensure my freedom to walk boldly and confidently, with my head held up high, no matter the current circumstances. This resolve has allowed me to cultivate gift I didn’t know I had and firmly ground myself in all that I am 🙂
Being authentic and genuine is offend the road less travelled. You wouldn’t think that, unfortunately it is true. Whatever process you choose to start be committed to seeing through until the end. Don’t cheat yourself; you are worth it!!
And keep in mind you have to dig for gold and it gets purified through heat and fire. Make the hard, but good choices. They may in fact lead you into probably the greatest chapter of your life.
Hello all you BEAUTIFUL women!!!! I know it has been almost 2 months since my last post…..I am so very sorry for that. These last 7 weeks have been quite a journey; one that has dramatically impacted my life forever!!
I have alway been an outside the box kind of person; never fitting the mold of what is considered normal in order to blend in and be accepted. This has not been something I have often embraced, but rather something I desperately tried to avoid. Let’s face it the world frowns on being different. They refer to us as non-conformists, rebels or disturbers of the peace; people who rock the boat. Schools, public institutions and even cultural backgrounds/family units don’t readily foster this type of personality make-up. I for one experienced the “conform or be rejected” type of mentality with my family. Yet as painful as that was I am so glad I struggled and persevered to not conform to every label life, society and even my family placed on me. The truth is at some point you have to stop trying to fit into other people’s expectations of what you are “suppose” to be like and be who you were meant to be. We are not carbon copies or made from cookie cutters. We are ALL designer originals!!
Since the beginning of the year I chose to let go of some seriously old excess baggage and give myself permission to be my true “Authentic Self.” It has been a very pain filled, soul searching and freeing process. There is obviously a lot I still need to work on, but who cares!!! I’d rather work on being a better version of the “real me”, than continue failing to be something I was never created to be.
The truth is this has been one of the most happiest times in my life even with all the challenging things I have had to face. I encourage you today let the pain of your past propel you into your future. It might as well be used for something good!!
Don’t cheap yourself by being a carbon copy of somebody else…..
Now they say confession is “good” for the soul, so here is my confession……
I am currently in a situation where finances are extremely “tight”, therefore things that are not essential have to be cut. However I already live a minimalist type of lifestyle, so there isn’t much to cut. I have removed most things which in reality are luxuries compared to the how the rest of world lives, but there is one thing in times past I have always managed to keep. A gym membership. I have longed struggled to get to my “goal” weight, but I never want to gain weight or worst return to where I was in 2001 when I was pushing 400lbs.
I have tried to come up with alternatives to keep my fitness regime going. In the past I have used a home workout program called “Insanity”. It is a high intensity workout where you need no weights or machines. I know a number of people who own it, so I spent some time trying to track a copy down. Unfortunately I have yet to actually get one in my possession. But in all honesty not working out theses last few weeks has proved to be very enlightening. During this time I actually started experiencing intense moments of anxiety. At one point the whole idea of not exercising/weight gain/diet began consuming my thoughts.
What I found most interesting was the words my mother used to say to me began to replay over and over in my head. Like “you’re a cow”, “fat pig”, “a slob”, “a glutton”, etc. Sadly these are some of the nicer things she used to say if you believe it! I came realize to these words were still haunting me. As long as I worked out and did all I could be to be healthy I felt good about my body and my appearance. When I didn’t the old thoughts would resurfaced. The truth is exercise is more than just a weight-loss tool. I used it drown out the other voices in my head. I never saw this before…..
Feeling beautiful is easy to do when you are achieving the standard you set for yourself. As long I was working towards being a better me what was said in the past didn’t phase me much. But now that I am restricted there is a temptation to revert to my old way of thinking; calling into question my self image/esteem and have I REALLY changed. The answer is YES I have changed. It is still a bit painful at times, yet I push past my feeling and hold onto what is true. The past seems to be something I have to constantly bury even though it tries to resurrect itself. Those words only have power when I choose to believe them. Everyday I choose to forgive what was done and believe truth about who I am now. I am NOT that girl anymore.
Don’t let the past hold you back….No matter what it is….
Thank YOU to all who are taking time to read this blog!! It really means a lot!! It is my desire that this blog will not only discuss the idea of “REAL” beauty and challenge the current stereotypes and social norms surrounding a woman’s appearance, but also take a hard look at the many issues which impact women specially in the area of self-esteem, relationships and world views. As mentioned before women are complex. There are many sides which make up a woman and none should ever be overlooked or taken lightly! Yet time and time again women some how get reduced to being a sexual object with the sole purpose of satisfying ones sexual pleasure. This sadly is not a new issue, but one that has plagued women centuries.
Now I’m not a feminist by any means, but I have often wondered what it was like for women in the year days who fought for women’s rights. The right to an education, to work and earn money, to own property or even run for political office. The rights I freely exercise today! It is amazing to think it wasn’t that long ago women were given the right to vote or permitted to hold positions that were solely designated to men. Nevertheless even in the mist of progress to this day women are fragrantly portrayed and often treated as women sexual objects. With the media, the entertainment industry both film and music [mainly pornography and rap music] along with human trafficking playing a huge role in perpetuating these archaic ideals the real problems lies when women themselves adopt these notions into their own core values.
Over the course of my career in Social Services I have had the opportunity to speak with numerous young girls and women and I am always astounded by what they believe about themselves. An array of experiences have brought them to that place, but the root of it all the same. A lie. At some point a lie was presented masquerading as the truth. Deception set in and the lie was embraced truth. Strangely enough many have shared they all felt something was wrong with what was said or done and yet never challenged it. Giving life to the lie that they are an object ie. “if it happened or if it was said it must be true.”
Being objectified is a degrading and deeply wounding experience. It rips at the fabric of a woman’s soul. If not addressed it can become a wall barricading one from ever having a full life; like a self inflicted prison. Because the truth is you can never out run what you believe about yourself. It is virtually impossible! In some form or another whether big or some every woman has experienced this, myself included. I too have had to fight to not believe the lies that were once presented to me as truth. It is a battle I still fight today in some ways. I am fortunate to have a great support network including friends and family, my faith and a strong church who constantly speak words of life and positivity into my life. Always reminding me that the past and what said or done does not dictate nor determined who I am or what I will become.
Never let the actions or the words of one person over shadow the beauty of who you are. You are NOT an object nor is your sole purpose for someone else’s personal gratification.
You are so much more than that!! Never forget it!!
Women are such complex creatures. Over the course of my life I seen women go through so many changes. We have babies, run a household and yet still manage to find time to achieve educational goals and hold down a career. Not only that we are also involved in your local communities in various capacities, trained in the arts and so on and so on. The 21st century woman is much more than just a house wife, but she is a force to be reckoned with. She is not only beautiful, but strong, capable, intelligent, bold, tenacious, outspoken, wise and fearless.
When I was young I was taught a woman or more importantly a “lady” was suppose to be quiet, dainty, sweet, reserved and above all else she was not suppose to have an opinion and if she did it was be to kept to herself. As I’m sure you can tell by now I NEVER fit into that mold. Although I am sweet and at times am quiet and dainty (well maybe) the reserved part didn’t seem to workout very well. With women being in every type of occupation out there, completing the highest levels of education and breaking the many stereotypes associated with being a woman I wonder if things have really changed. Do people, men in particular, take the time to see what lies beyond the position, degrees and success, past the soulful eyes and pretty smile?
As a woman I’ve always felt my strength and level of capability has been a hinderance when it comes to relationships and navigating my way through life. Sure I can probably manage almost any situation that comes my way and still keep a smile on my face, but does it mean I am not affected by it?! As if all I am and can do somehow eliminates the fact I have feelings or a sensitive and compassionate heart. Some have even told I am TOO strong. As if they knew or had full understanding of what I have endured prior to them meeting me. I have often felt force to hide or hold back who I really am for the sake of being accepted or well received. Sad I know; somehow the whole idea seems backwards to me.
In addition to being too strong I have also been told I am intimidating in which therefore will have a difficult time finding a man willing to be in a relationship with me. It is amazes me the things people have the freedom to say, especially to a person they really do not know very well. Anyway as I write this a film I once saw comes to mind. Now I know life is not like a movie, however this one in particular struck a cord with me. The movie Avatar is set in an alter human reality, however it does have a few scenes I feel can be applied to our everyday lives. There is a line “I see you.” It is used numerous times throughout the film as a greeting. Like how you would say “hello”, “hi’’ or “what’s up”, but it holds so much more meaning. The greeting “I see you” means “I see into, I understand you.” It would unrealistic to expect this from every person you encounter, nevertheless it would be nice and rather refreshing if it did happen a small fraction time. But although it doesn’t happen that often it will not deter me from being who I am, flaws and all!!
Those moments will come where they will “see you”, REALLY see you. Cherish those moment because it has been my experience they do not happen very often, but when they do they are truly special.
In my previous blog I mentioned the negative impact television and the music/fashion industry can have on a female mind. The constance images can set an unrealistic standard for women to follow and cause much harm. More importantly they emphasize very little on valuing a woman’s true inner beauty or promoting a positive self-esteem. Yet with all of this there is still a far greater enemy that women face. One more fierce than any music video, magazine ad, television show or negative childhood. You won’t have to go very far to find this adversary. All you have to do is look in the mirror! Yes, that’s right! You are your own worst enemy or as I’d like to call you “Public Enemy #1!”
Now I know what I have just said may seem a bit harsh, but allow me to explain. Have you ever witnessed (or participated in) this scenario: A group of women are talking. One attempts to given another a compliment. No sooner is the sentence complete does the woman receiving the compliant says “Oh no I’m fat or ugly” or whatever word you care to use. She totally rejects the compliment! Tearing themselves down with their own thoughts and words women speak against who they are. Sadly this occurs often and is quite the norm. The reason why I know this to be true is because I used to do it on a regular basis myself. The filter in which all my thoughts and words ran through was entirely negative. I do believe my upbringing played a part in it, still it is does not mean I have to keep the cycle of dysfunction going. You can change the way you think!
Negative thoughts/self talk is a killer. It destroys any form of real confidence one may have. Too often women base their value on what they have, how they look, their relationship status, if they have children or what they do. All these thing are subject to change. Your value however is unchanging, therefore your confidence should be based on who you are as a person. Yet we give way to negative thoughts/words when we do not meet our own list of criteria. For me I found myself repeating things that were said to me throughout my childhood; things no child should ever hear. Over the years also I added few words of my own. I realized much of what I found myself saying I didn’t actually believe, but they had somehow became a part of me. I had grown accustom to hearing them and change seemed almost impossible. But this is far from the truth!
There is a saying “a house divided against itself can not stand.” You can not love and hate yourself all at the same time. Using your own thoughts and words to tear yourself down is a form of self-hate, plain and simple. You can portray whatever image you like and you might fool some, but the truth will remain. You must stop bashing yourself through your own thoughts and words! Being your own enemy will sabotage whatever quality of life you desire. You deserve a good life, so give yourself permission to have one!
It took me a long time to silence the internal chatter. I had to learn to be more kind and gracious to myself. Confidence begins from the inside and my thoughts and words played a role in that. I was NEVER going to meet every requirement on my list of criteria I had laid out for myself, so why beat myself up?! Being my own enemy was not leading to the life I wanted. Something had to change. I could no longer seek external validation to silent the voices within, that was my job. As my words changed so did my thoughts. Soon I began to see myself in a different light! The past was in the past and I was now free to live without any further self-sabotage!!
Your future will be so much brighter if you were on your own side!