I have overcome many challenges in my life, I have pushed myself harder than I thought possible. However there is an area in my life in which I struggle the most……my weight. Yesterday my daughter and my friend pressed me as to why I am not dating and they pushed me a bit as to the real reason. I told them my reason which in part was and is true, however they pushed a bit harder because they wanted me to say what they knew was my deeper truth and it was the reason that kept me hiding behind long sleeves, loose and dark clothing. They knew that in my heart I felt uncomfortable about wearing provocative and sexy clothing but most of all they knew that I had chosen to stay away from men because of my perception of me. Let me tell you that I have thick skin and I can face many issues in my life but this topic became really uncomfortable because they brought light to an issue which I had chosen to not think about. They pressed hard at me, they were relentless, telling me how wonderful , attractive, youthful and fun I am, they told me I had no excuse to keep myself from relationships and they were trying, even forcing me to see what I didn't. As they pressed I realized that I saw all those great things in me; but I only saw them in my professional life. You see, when I think of what I do and can do, I feel in control and capable of more; therefore in my professional life I am assertive and strong. However as a woman, I had stopped thinking of myself as a sexual being. In fact I put my focus on everything else but me. I actually shut out the potential of a man in my life! So here I am listening to my friend and daughter wanting me to spice up my wardrobe to match my youthful spirit. They wanted me to stop covering up as much as I do, to stop hiding behind sleeves and dark colors - Oh Lord, this might not be easy! Let’s face it…..I do not wear revealing clothing, not because it’s ugly but because the truth is “I feel ugly in them”. It is important I use this word because many of you feel the same way with something in your life. When we dislike something about ourselves we tend to allow that thing(s) or that/those area in our lives to dim the lights on the areas that really work. All of a sudden we stop seeing the good and only focus on the bad. Unfortunately I was very creative and found a way to not focus on the imperfections by covering them up with long sleeves, loose and dark clothing. Then I drew my attention to the things that I really needed to get a handle of such as the new direction I wanted my life to take, picking up the pieces after divorce, being unemployed for a year and learning to provide for my daughter as a single parent. My focus was to stand tall, and create a life my daughter could be proud of but most of all serve as an example to her of perseverance. I wanted her to see and learn that we can get knocked down but we can get up swinging faster and stronger than ever. That is where I placed my focus and despite understanding that I need to work on how I see my body, I know that these things I did were important to me and were most important at that time.
As I write these words I come to realize this message is not about being heavy set or fat. This post is about self-acceptance, self-love, understanding and accountability. You see, we are more than what we see, but at times we get caught up only on what we see in the mirror. Depending on what we see; we both feel good and empowered or we feel sadness and pull away. We can go through life pretending everything is fine however deep inside things are not and the truth will find a way to shine through.
The way I see it, I have taken many steps to steer my life in a better direction and it is visible, the life I am living today is a result of those changes. I have achieved certain goals and I am a great example to my daughter, I can tell you I am very proud of what I have accomplished, I feel satisfaction and happiness. As I begin to define the goals for 2015 I need to make time for me. I must take a look at my life as a whole and define the areas I need to improve but better yet I need to understand what I am truly looking for. So let’s focus on the weight for a bit and feel free to follow along as this might apply to you or it might even help in other areas you struggle with.
My weight: What about my weight do I dislike the most and why? What is my ideal weight and why? Is that weight defined by society or is it defined by me? What types of clothes do I like and why? What type of clothes do I dislike and why? How do I feel when I bum out and how do I feel when I doll up? How do I feel when I walk into a room full of people? Do I walk into a room quiet and shy or do I walk into a room with a smile and engaging?
I am sure more questions can be asked but I think you get the idea of what I am attempting to do. I need to drill myself regarding a difficult topic. I need to push myself to take a good look and not just say what comes to mind, instead I need to allow myself to discover how I truly think and feel about my appearance.
You might be feeling bad about your height, weight, accent, posture, limited vocabulary, bank account, etc. Whatever it is, we must take it from the emotion to the understanding. You see the emotion will not help us if we can’t define and size the problem. Only by understanding it will we be able to do something about it. If we don’t do this, then we will simply find ways to hide from our problems, we will attempt to cover them up as I did. At first it may seem it works but it is only an attempt and in time that which we hide will show its ugly face and when it does it will hurt even more than it did when we tried to ignore it.
Being uncomfortable is not a bad thing; it’s just part of our wake up call. Sometimes we need to be pushed in order to see and hear what we purposely have ignored. Sometimes we need to be called out on our weakness in order to face our demons and choose another path.
I will admit that I am not about to go sleeveless, but I will begin to look at a lighter more form fitting wardrobe. I will need to push myself in that area and I am lucky to have people who love me and want to help me get there and one thing I will do is I will open up my mind and allow the opportunity of meeting people into my life. The right man will come to me at the right time, therefore there is no rush but I do understand that the right man can only find me when I am ready to be found. I am the happiest I have ever been and in 2015 I will be even happier as I incorporate changes which will allow me to improve ALL areas in my life.
You are not alone just as I am not…so open up and listen. Not everything you hear will be easy but focus on the source and receive the message. Open up your heart and learn from what is being said. You don’t need to like or even accept all the suggestions however IF in your heart you understand what is being said to you and accept that there is some truth, then there just might be something more you can do and those who are calling you out might just be the ones to help you in this part of your life.