My clothes were always baggie and though just a year before I had always kept my hair pulled back, now it hung in my face as often as possible. I also wore baseball hats as often as I could justify it.
I was hiding. The pain of growing up was too much, and the stares I got felt like daggers. I was no longer allowed to play with the boys. I was being segregated. And I knew it was because I was ugly.
That was the story I was telling myself anyway. I had no idea what was happening, really, but I thought that the ugly girl story made the most sense to me. While my mother tried to contradict it, my pain would not let me believe her.
That was 34 years ago. I was eleven. I didn't realize that puberty was what I was experiencing, and it was quite normal. I had no idea that the kids around me were experiencing some version of the same situation. I felt utterly alone and I hated myself and I hated the world.
While I did eventually grow out of that, I carried some version of it forward with me through adulthood. Judged constantly on my looks, valued for what clothes I wore, how my hair looked, if my make-up created a flawless finish, I soon became exhausted with the effort it took to try and cover up my manglements. I decided that one of my goals would be to not have to wear make-up. I didn't care how long it took, I would work on breaking the habit little by little until I could go through my life without it.
Now, I feel like I am soaring. I feel like I have been liberated from a cage that has kept me immobile for so many years. Why? I havent' changed how I look, necessarily, I am still in the same basic skin suit, though it has aged. The difference is my mind. It is my attitude. It is my heart.
It took a lot of work. It took a lot of courage, but holy shit, I made it. I am here. I am proud of my body. I feel beautiful much of the time. (There was a time when I couldn't fathom how that might feel.)
I want everyone to feel this way. I want to share it because I know that I have become a better person through this work. I have become happier. I have become more courageous. I have become more.
That's what my writing is about. That is what my new class that starts on Monday is about. It is about starting the work that it takes to get to a place where you are free, confident and brave. It is about making the choice to find your beauty. This is not beauty as a thing, or an appearance, this is beauty as a state of consciousness. Beauty as a belief system. Beauty as a feeling.
I know that when I tell people that I feel beautiful, or sexy, or pretty, they are taken aback. In fact, I would go so far as to say that many people are put off by a person who has no problem owning her beauty. owning her body. It is a threat to most people because most are afraid to do the work to get there. It is hard fucking work, looking at yourself. if you have been avoiding mirrors for years, you have some work ahead of you.
It is a lot like eating junk for years, smoking, drinking, putting tons of crap in your body and then hoping to be able to take a pill and magically transform into a healthy person. It just ain't gonna happen.
Ignoring your body visually is the same. If you have been ignoring your body, you will take some training. You will need to get used to the sight of yourself. You think that is overly harsh? It isn't. Ignoring yourself is. I know because I did it. I was the woman who avoided mirrors.
I am not exagerating when I say that I hated myself. My body was a stranger to me. I didn't know who I was anymore because I had gotten to know myself through the experience of others. So I turned away from myself. I turned my back on me. Fuck! How shitty that is! To give up on yourself at the age of eleven? But I did. I was so afraid of what I would see, I just stopped looking.
IIt has been long. It has been challenging; but I would not trade how I feel about myself for anything. I would not trade the work I did to get here either. I love that work because it showed me something. It opened me up. It made me a believer in all things.
So, whaddaya say? You wanna risk it? You wanna take that chance? You wanna start what will be a wonderful lifetime of work?
Sunday at five is the deadline to sign up for my five day class. Short, but powerful.
Let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to help.
Read more about it HERE.