Self-Love and Self-Acceptance is Not Just About Rockin’ the Curves

All about the bass

As catchy as this tune is, it still reinforces that women should feel good about their bodies because men like them a certain way.  “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night…” REALLY?!  As a full grown woman in this twisted-ass society, I am so SICK of feeling like I have to impress men with my body, or even worse – get their acceptance of MY BODY.  I’ve done the math and figured out that the men who are attracted to me for my body – no matter if it’s when I’m thin as a rail, thick and curvy from being bloated from drinking, a little chubby from depression eating, or fit and athletic looking – those men are scumbags.  I’ve had all the body types with the exception of being obese (because I’ve been a consciously healthy eater throughout my life), and I’m going to be brave and admit right now that in all of my ever-changing wardrobes from size 0 to size 12, I’ve always been concerned about how I appeared to men.  Throughout my womanhood I’ve been hit on by married men, arrogant asshole men, men hanging out of their low-riding cars flashing their grills making cat calls, old men, much-too-young men, and “sophisticated” men.  For YEARS this made me feel good about myself.  BARF!  Here is what I want to say to those men – I NO LONGER NEED YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF ME TO FEEL BEAUTIFUL.  FUCK OFF ALREADY!

I used to look in the mirror and detest my freckles.  I spent hundreds of dollars and too many years trying to hide my natural, lovely freckles.  When I got to rehab for alcoholism (because I completely self-destructed while trying to live up to other people’s standards) – for SIX MONTHS I was not allowed to wear make-up. So guess what?  I had to either accept my freckles or spend the entire time obsessing about them.  I chose to accept them, and the funny thing was, no one cared about my damn freckles.  The only thing I ever heard about my freckles from my peers was how darned cute they were.  I began looking in the mirror and seeing what other people saw – a confident woman who had more on her mind than appearing perfect. In that six month period where I was not the center of attention for once, I learned to love my face without the make-up.  I noticed the kindness behind my amber eyes and the way they smiled when I smiled.  I noticed my dimples and the radiance of my ivory skin – all the things I’d never noticed about myself before because I was too busy trying to cover up my freckles.

When I accepted my freckles I stopped caring what other people thought about them.  The obsession was gone.  I could finally walk around without make-up not thinking anything about the spots on my face. What freedom! How liberating! It took thirty-five flippen years for me to get to that place, but the last thing I’m going to ever say to my daughter about this is, “Men love freckles, so you should embrace them.”  Oh HELL NO.  It doesn’t matter what men think of my freckles.  I LOVE my freckles.  That’s all that matters.

Same goes for the ole’ body.  I’ve had body image problems all my life just like the rest of the women in society.  I still do, but I am working on overcoming them and I take care of my body because I not only want to look good – I also want to feel good for as long as possible.  Several years ago I went and had breast implants because I felt like my shoulders were too broad for my size B-cup boobs.  I was very insecure about my breasts, especially because I noticed that most men were into larger breasts.  I tell people I had this surgery done for myself, but the truth is, I wanted to feel better about myself through the likes of men, and I also wanted to appear more confident than I felt inside.  Instead of accepting my body the way it was, I transformed it.  I don’t exactly have regrets, but often I notice the way men look at them and sexualize me rather than notice other things about me, like how I articulate myself.  I have gotten to a place in my life where I do not think much about my breasts at all.  More important to me is how present I am in any given situation.  I think about the state of my soul more than I care about the way my breasts appear.  I care about laughing and about noticing the beauty in the world.  I care about what comes up for me emotionally through the mirrors of other people.  The inner body is much more real to me than the one that is going to eventually grow old and wither.  When I go out in the world now, I am not thinking about attracting men.  I am much more interested in the magic of being alive.  I am fulfilled as a human being – as a confident woman.  I no longer need the acceptance of a man to help me feel good, or better about myself.  In fact, there hasn’t been a man yet who’s come along and offered me more confidence and love than I have for myself today.

I’ve had plenty of boyfriends who’ve told me I was beautiful when I didn’t think I was beautiful, and their compliments never penetrated my being the way I feel about myself now. Some of those men did not hesitate to tear me apart when our relationship was not working out in the end. If I had valued myself through their lustful eyes, I would have also devalued myself when they were knocking me down. I knew better. I knew I was worth more than a man’s shifty opinion of me.

How did I get to the point of genuine self-acceptance? I stopped fucking lying to myself about everything.  I looked past my facade. I stopped acting happy when I was angry.  I stopped “being nice” when I was feeling annoyed.  I began knowing myself through the wave of my emotions.  I listened to my negative thinking and got interested in my behaviors.  I stopped conforming to the outside world and became a watcher of my inner world.  I stopped distracting myself from my pain and began sitting with the pain.  It fucken hurt and I continued sitting with it.  I cried a lot.  I stopped being fake and just started getting real with myself.  I stopped telling myself that I was all of these positive things that were not true, including the one where I said I felt good about myself.  I was a liar.  I was a manipulator.  I was scared as shit about everything and everyone. I hated myself. I hated myself. I hated myself. I rejected myself although I spent years perfecting an image that looked like I was incredibly confident about who I was. All lies. I was terrified.

Stop worrying about shedding weight and begin focusing on shedding all the bullshit you tell yourself. You are not a victim. If you haven’t FELT yourself through your emotions, then you don’t know yourself, and if you don’t know yourself, you cannot accept yourself.  Stop hiding from your pain.  When people brought up raw emotion for me, I thought they were my enemies until I realized that the raw emotion was mine. If pain was coming up for me through other people’s words, then those people were merely guides pointing me back to myself so that I could see myself for what I was.  I stopped running from the raw emotion and began getting curious about it.  It came up for me a lot – for several years – and sometimes it still comes up, but I don’t reject it or resist it anymore.  I welcome it.  I welcome it because it’s coming up so that it can clear out, so that I can be the whole person that I truly am.  I faced myself.  I faced my demons.  I stopped being afraid of the inner universe and began exploring it.  THAT’s how I’ve come to love myself.  That’s how I’ve learned acceptance for ME. 

When people poke and prod at me now, and bring up things I used to be insecure about – I can actually laugh with them instead of getting defensive.  YES I know I’m controlling.  HA HA HA!  Yes these boobs are fake! Ha! I know that about myself and I am working on the character defects, but you cannot hurt me by pointing them out.  I’m aware of these things about myself and I accept myself for all of my character defects.  After all, they are not who I am. I’m growing every day and walking more and more in the awareness of my soul, rather than in the fragments of my mind.  So again, I don’t give a shit about what men think about me or my body.  I don’t even think of men much anymore (not that I’ve gone rebelliously lesbian – I’ve just got a lot more going on now than needing a man in my life).  I’ve never gotten my confidence through them.  Through facing myself in all my emotional facets – through being aware of my thought patterns and behaviors – I’ve become not only confident about myself, I’ve also discovered my wholeness and completeness.

“Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top,” may sound good in theory, but I seriously doubt it rings true to many women out there because many of us are lying to ourselves about how we truly feel inside.  And if you don’t feel good on the inside, you cannot feel genuinely good about what you’re rocking on the outside.  Do you even know how you appear to others when you look perfect on the outside, yet you lack inner confidence? You look like an insecure, self-centered narcissist who spends way too much time in the mirror. People see right through that shit and it is incredibly unattractive.

Self-awareness is the path to self-acceptance.  It takes a lot of work and a lot of courage to enter into yourself, but if you want to walk out of your house each morning not just saying you’re confident, but actually BEING confident, take the inner journey.  Be the brave and self-assured woman that you claim you are.  Put your money where your mouth is.  Take a full inventory of yourself and after you realize who you really are beneath the façade, you will discover that you are lacking NOTHING.  You are EVERYTHING my dear, but it’s up to you to truly FEEL this about yourself instead of just portraying it to the world.  When you truly accept yourself, and truly love who you are, you will see through people’s bullshit like never before, and all those men that you long to attract now will seem like monkeys to you at that point.  You will realize how absurd it is to get acceptance from people who do not even truly accept themselves. You’ll understand how much more you deserve and you will value yourself enough to stay single until the right person comes along and enhances what you already have.  You don’t need a man to validate you.  You need to stop listening to these ridiculous songs about rocking your curves for the boys, and get beneath the skin of yourself.  Transform yourself from the inside out and your beautiful soul will eventually shine through.

P.S. For men reading this who feel yourself offended, you need to do an inventory of yourself too. Women have been defining themselves through the eyes of men for way too long, and if you haven’t noticed this planet is unbalanced as hell. Stop sexulizing everything. Utilize your life for something worth living for, which is certainly not just sex. Make something of yourself. God gave you a whole body and mind, yet all you think about is your penis and what turns you on. We are over it already. While you’ve been jacking-off to porn, this world has gone to shit. There are greater things to accomplish in this lifetime. Wake the fuck up.

http://www.amazon.com/J.L.-Forbes/e/B00HS980ZI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1414348436&sr=1-1

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The Eagle Doesn’t Flock Around with the Chickens… And Neither Should You

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Growing up, I was very clear on what I wanted to do with my life.  My friends and I used to talk about the dreams we had for ourselves.  Over the long weekend, I thought about this a lot, and reflected on some of the heavy situations that we’ve all had to endure.  There have been many divorces, children to raise and several traumas, which none of us could have predicted, but… such as life.  I know we all wanted to be mothers, so mothers we became, but what about all the other dreams we had? 

So often we manage to overcome our greatest obstacles, yet we leave behind the desire of our hearts along the way.  What if these obstacles were placed before us as guiding posts toward our goals, rather than being forks in the road to throw us off course?  Personally, overcoming my addiction brought me closer to my genuine self, which has been a great reminder of what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.  I knew as a child that I was a writer.  Nothing has changed.  Through my recovery I’ve simply been directed in a specific direction with my writing.  Where I was once confused about what I should write about, now I am sure of myself.  I’m more refined, and my writing is more organic.  I don’t have to fight with my pen, or struggle with the keys every morning because I know which way I’m headed. 

When I was a child, it occurred to me that all the animals were genuinely playing out their specific role here on earth, and each role balanced out the overall ecosystem of the planet.  The lion never acts like a bear and an eagle never flocks around the ground like a chicken.  It’s very clear that mother nature is incredibly balanced, and each creature is true to their specific purpose.  Yet the humans seem to be extremely unclear about their role here.  The difference between the humans and the animals is that we have egos, and we also live in a monetary system that keeps many of us in survival mode.  Rather than thriving in our purpose here, most of us are struggling to stay above water.  If we are strong enough, we become competitors with the other humans, and if greed has got the best of us, we take as much as we can without concern of the balance of the planet.  Then there are some of us who don’t care at all.  We are lazy and consumed with remaining entertained, instead of serving a purpose while we are here.  And while most of us are concerned with the state of the world, we continue to consume, compete and survive. 

I used to have this fantasy that everyone who worked nine-to-five jobs would just STOP all at once, and walk away from their offices.  I imagined the insurance adjuster loosening his tie and picking up his dusty guitar, and the CEO of an ad agency kicking off her heels and dancing along the street.  We leave behind our dreams to pay our bills, but at the end of our lives, how many of us regret not writing that book, or traveling the world with a symphony?  We are basically artists playing the roles of robots.  It would be so cool if everyone everyone would STOP in the tracks of their busy careers – all at once – and pick up where they left their childhood dreams.  This has always been a fantasy of mine, but I can only live out my own dream.  I can’t force anyone else to live out theirs.

I’ve had friends come up to me and say, “Oh my gosh, you’re really doing it.  You’re writing books, and you moved away from our hometown.”  It occurs to me that this is not a common thing, and it strikes me as silly.  “Of course.  What else would I be doing?”  It’s not an easy life I’m living, and I don’t have a lot of things my friends have, but I am happy.  I’m fulfilled.  If I died tomorrow, I could honestly say that I have no regrets.  Even if I haven’t traveled the world yet, I’m well on my way, so I can’t say that I didn’t try.  I’m always trying to get where I’m going.  Even my career has eased up enough to allow me to follow the path of my dreams.  I can wear jeans to work.  I don’t get in trouble if I’m late, and if I have to leave early – or take a day off – no problem.  This is the life I’ve created because I’m following my own innate purpose.  If I would have bought into a belief that it was too late for me, or my addiction got the best of me, or I’ve got children to raise so my life needs to be placed on hold, or I have to keep up with my friends, or I can’t move away from my family… I would be working a corporate job, and miserable.  That just isn’t me.  Maybe that’s for some people, but I’m very clear that I’m supposed to be writing. 

I guess the point I’m trying to make, is that if you follow the path of your dreams, the world will open up for you.  It truly will.  You may not own the largest TV, or have the nicest car.  You may not get to own a home, but you will feel completely fulfilled and mother nature will do her part and provide exactly what you need, at the exact right time.  It’s a little bit like free-falling and trusting that a parachute will be provided, but once you realize that you ARE the parachute, the fear and doubt will vanish. 

This is a lot to take in, but the bottom line is that there is a natural balance that occurs when each of us serves our innate purpose in life.  It may seem impossible, or too late, but that is just a lie we tell ourselves as an excuse to remain comfortable.  I tend to think about the day I die.  I realize that there will come a day when I look back and review what I’ve done here while I was alive.  If what I’m doing right now, doesn’t add up to living out my role here and serving my purpose (or living out my dreams), then I chuck it aside.  It’s real easy to see the distractions when you are clear about your purpose.  The giraffe doesn’t end up in Antarctica due to a hook up with the penguin.  It just doesn’t happen because nature knows it’s role.  We all came here with an innate desire to be something.  Stick with that.  Find your way back if you’ve gotten lost. Ditch the water bird, and get back in your African groove.  That’s all I’m sayin.’

 

 

Have You Ever Seen a Molting Chicken? We Can Learn a Thing or Two From the Animals

Molting Chicken

The other day at a farmer’s market I saw the most hideous looking duck.  It’s feathers were all bunched up and puffed out around its head and neck.  At first glance, I thought “neglect,” but then looking around at the other well-groomed birds, I realized that the poor old duck was probably just molting.  It’s not a pretty sight, but when those feathers do come in, that bird is going to shine and light up the whole farm. 

When I was younger, I had a few reptiles (snakes and lizards) that shed about once every other month or so.  Their new skin was so vibrant under the old dull skin.  Their eyes were clearer and they became more active right after those heavy layers came off.  As I grow throughout my life, I think of myself as shedding old skins and moving out of the layers of myself that no longer serve me.  I’m outgrowing old behaviors and patterns of thinking.  I’m shedding my ego and walking more and more in the lightness of intuition.  During weeks of restlessness and confusion, I have finally figured out that I’m simply going through that process of spiritual or emotional molting.

You know, we’ve been graciously gifted with nature that teaches us exactly how to be.  Animals literally live in the moment completely trusting their environment and their own instincts.  Animals don’t fear incoming danger before danger lurks.  They are so acutely aware of the moment, that they sense danger as soon as it arrives.  If danger is not there, they do not experience fear.  Fear for animals isn’t an ongoing thing.  If there is nothing to fear, they seem to be pretty content.

Animals also know how to love, and from some videos I’ve seen lately, they certainly understand acceptance.  There is a video (link at bottom) of a kitten and a young barn owl who meet each other in an open field.  I’m talking claws, sharp teeth, a carnivorous beak and talons that could quickly snap a kittens neck in half, but these two creatures find interest in one another and decide to make the most of the situation.  Instead of rip each other apart, they decide to play with one another.  At some point during the video, you realize that they’ve actually become friends, and they totally dig each other.  They harmonize together.  They learn to dance within each others limitations and accept each others differences.  

I get so tired of seeing people on Facebook pointing out what is wrong in the world.  Lets expose everyone’s faults and wrongdoings so that we can prove that we are better than they are.  No, you know what?  If we want to change this world, we should completely stop pointing out other people’s wrongs and begin accepting the differences in other people.  Then we should retract our claws, close our mouths and learn to dance within our own limitations.  We should learn to be interested in how other people fly when we only know how to climb.  We should learn something from one another.  No matter how loud and obnoxious one person is, we should stop judging and start being aware of our own behaviors.  Not one person on this planet has all the answers, and every single person you encounter knows something about life that you have never experienced.  Learn something from each person you encounter, even if it’s simply an emotion that arises within yourself when they are in your presence.  This world is so backward and we are really, really lost.  I’m not surprised that our world is so full of addicts.  I wanted to drown everything out because the negativity was too great to take on, but once I changed my own behaviors, the world began to be a much kinder place.  Like attracts like.  That barn owl and kitten found one another and thought about nothing but play.  There was absolutely no threat between the two of them.  This is how we should learn to be.

In the beginning of the video it looks as if the kitten is trying to attack the owl, and perhaps he was, but the owl didn’t succumb.  The wise owl took the opportunity (knowing she could easily fly away if needed) to befriend the kitten.  Once this was established, the kitten made nice and learned how to enjoy the owl’s company.  This is living in harmony.  This is what we learn to do when we stop resisting the world, and our experiences in our own uncomfortable skin.  If you’re feeling restless this week, let the restlessness move through you.  Be aware of it, but don’t resist it.  Ask yourself what old skin you could be shedding that no longer serves you – because you are growing right now.  You are constantly growing and it can be extremely uncomfortable.  Situations may arise that feel like the world is coming against you.  This is your opportunity to let go of the need to be in charge and succumb to your environment.  

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HOW TO LIVE IN HARMONY:  Experience life as it arrives and don’t jump to conclusions.  Be present with whatever is occurring, no matter how disturbing it may be.  I’ve got a lot of shit coming up for me right now, but I’m trusting in the experience.  I am surrendering because most of this stuff is much bigger than me.  I just need to tuck in the talons and learn to fly through it all.  I trust that the world will make nice and offer me exactly what I need even when it appears to be my enemy.  We are of nature, and I say this a lot, but it’s a strong message.  Nature lives in harmony.  It may sometimes look unkind, or ugly, but there is always something greater occurring.  We need to trust in that something greater, rather than getting caught up in snag of the moment.  Shed old feathers and skin.  Let them go without resistance.  If you’re uncomfortable, so what?  Be uncomfortable.  It’s ok.  Life is always offering learning experiences.  It’s up to you if you’re going to be an enemy, or a friend.  I choose the latter. 

Here is a link to that precious video: http://blog.petflow.com/a-cat-pounced-on-an-owl-i-was-ready-for-an-ugly-ending-what-happened-next-is-incredible/#V1VbZrCs2V7wxsTi.01

An Update on What Lies Beneath (Anxiety)

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A few weeks ago I blogged about the anxiety I experience and how there must be something beyond it, like a depth of myself that I haven’t yet discovered beneath all the fear.  So these last few weeks I’ve been deliberately moving through the fear, and its been pretty darn interesting.  My anxiety has peaked at times and then subsided; like massive waves of paranoia plummeting down into total stillness.  I’ve been observing it rather than getting caught up in it.  I’m just the person floating along on this shifty raft, allowing the tides to be as they are without disturbing them or freaking out because of heights of my anxiety. 

When I go to bed I give my body permission to release the fear it needs to move through, knowing that it can’t destroy me or anything like that.  We all have traumas that we suppress and many times they come up as nightmares.  My dreams have been vivid and daunting.  I woke up screaming one night and crying uncontrollably another.  I’ve experienced pain in my kidneys which is indicative of a fear blockage.  If you don’t know what it feels to have pain in your kidneys, it’s like having intense lower back pain.  It sometimes throbs, or shoots pain like an electric shock.  Some days I have a difficult time standing up and last week I couldn’t even run, but I didn’t get angry about not being able to run.  It’s just part of the deal right now.  I’m moving through the fear and it does not want to leave my body.  It’s being difficult, like it is scared to leave me because it’s been with me for such a long time.  Having compassion for myself is imperative right now, which means allowing this fear to take its time while I speak to it and give it permission to move on.

Things are coming up for me…. old patterns of thinking, insecurities and visions of losing everything.  My heart races at times and my head spins.  Cold sweats, stress, tears and moments of feeling out of control.  It’s moving through me, but I’m not buying into it.  This is what needs to occur so that I can delve deeper into who I am; what lies beneath this wall of fear I’ve been hiding behind?  It’s exactly like detoxing and clearing out the old energy to bring in the new. 

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I always say that what we need comes at the exact right time.  Yesterday my mom and dad gave me a gift for Mother’s Day.  It was a complete bath and body package with salts and lavender, which is great for detoxing and relaxing.  I took a nice long bath last night and imagined the fear releasing into the water.  I imagined it going down into the drain as I dried myself off.  My dreams were a little more harmonic last night, but there was still some residues of fear.  I’m moving through it and not rushing it, but the most important thing is that I’m aware of it. 

I’ve moved through some ugly stuff before – last year at this time it was doubt.  When I moved past all my doubt without buying into it, the world opened up for me and I was able to receive the abundance of a wonderful new job, a dynamic relationship, a lovely little cottage home in a beautiful town followed by a lot of other blessings.  If I would have listened to my doubt I’d still be living in a town that I didn’t feel comfortable in, working ten hours a day in a stuffy corporate office, and probably living in a studio with my twelve year old.  When I move through this anxiety, I expect the universe has something incredible up its cosmic sleeve, and I’m open to receiving whatever it is. 

We’ve got to know where we are headed in life so that the journey is clear.  If I was lost right now, I would be a train wreck through all of this.  I know where I’m headed and I trust that I’m being guided along the way.  This is all pretty cool, and it excites me to know that I’m getting rid of old energy that no longer serves me.  It means that I am growing and getting closer to the person that I came here to be. As I continue to move through the anxiety, I will keep you posted, and thank you to all my readers. I’ve got people from Australia, the UK, Hong Kong and Canada. Blessings to you all!