I was off from work today. It took me some time to get myself organized and leave my place to run the errands I needed to complete.
But eventually I got myself together – I put my hair up in a bun, put some large hoops in my ears, opted for a dark pair of jeans and my white Marilyn Monroe print tee to go with my new grey jacket I bought in Chicago a few weeks ago. I left my house with the feeling that I looked as good as I felt (and I felt good!)…which is a great feeling as we all know.
My first stop was the nail shop. I walked in and there were no other customers so it was nice and quiet. My nails were made beautiful again and as I was waiting for my toes to dry, this LOUD ‘female’ walked in. I didn’t get a good look at her until she sat in the chair beside me. (I’d say she was around my age.) She was probably a few inches taller than me, minus the curves. She must have had 3-4 layers of extra long fake lashes glued onto her lids. Her lips looked like they’ve gone through one too many collagen injections, and I actually thought that they looked kind of painful to move or touch. Her hair was not combed well so you could see where the extra long extensions were glued on. But the most elaborate thing on her ‘body’ were in fact, her breasts. Imagine two basketballs, side-by-side on a long board. Except these basketballs are so heavy that they’re not only starting to sag a little, not only are the covering half of her torso, but they’re actually bending her back forward and exaggerating her kyphosis.
Because she was sitting beside me, AND was very loud, I heard everything that came out of her mouth while I was there. One thing that stood out was her story about the fact that she phoned the shop yesterday, only to get the nail shop lady’s husband on the phone. When she was trying to make the appointment she said “I’m the one who comes there all the time. You know, the one with the big boobs?” and laughed after that punchline. (That made me think of three things: 1. she was actually proud of her two basketballs, 2. she identifies herself as her basketballs, or 3. she hides her true self behind her basketballs.)
I was grateful when my nails were dry and I could go about the rest of my day. I can’t lie – I found it extremely hard NOT to stare and wonder how bad she must have felt about herself before she took such extremes to plasticize her body.
I made my way over to Kensington market where my first order of business was lunch – AND I ate dessert too, for I also remembered the loud ‘female’ at the nail shop saying how she ‘forgot to eat today’. SIDE NOTE: Natural curves on a female, are a must!
After lunch and dessert, and after completing my intended food shopping, I was making my way out of Kensington when I read a statement on a banner of sorts, which actually inspired this blog post:
“If you desire love,
learn to love.”
It’s so simple, yet so lovely, isn’t it? If you want to have love in your life, you must then learn how to love. And who better to start with, than YOU?! I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Love yourself first”. Well, that’s the key to overcoming almost every fear, every struggle, any pain or sorrow you’re holding onto in life. For some of you, you’re reading something that is obvious to you, and that’s because you’ve probably done the work you needed to do on your Self and you understand it as the truth. But for others, however, you may be asking “HOW DO I GET THERE? HOW DO I DO THAT? HOW DO I LEARN TO LOVE?” which is great because you’ve recognized that you have some work to do AND that you’re ready to do it!
So I’ll be honest, although I’ve reached a place of love for my Self that’s deep, vast, accepting, joyful and has brought me a deep sense of peace, I am not an expert or a doctor. However, I do have a few things I can share with you that I learned during my journey which may be helpful to you, in yours.
1. DO NOT put off doing the work you’re now aware you need to do.
2. Spend time with yourself. Write to yourself, talk to yourself, listen to your own thoughts and feelings. Pay attention to your inner reactions.
3. Deal with ALL of your baggage – NOTHING should be swept under the carpet . This may involve crying, laughter, grief, periods of highs and lows. There is nothing wrong with going to a professional (counsellor or therapist) for guidance.
4. FORGIVE YOURSELF.
5. Take ownership of your actions, reactions and words of the past, which still seem to follow you. Understand their consequences and take note of their lessons.
6. FORGIVE YOURSELF.
7. Look in the mirror and point out all the things you like and dislike about your body. Work towards loving those areas EXACTLY as they are. I bet as you start to really love your Self, your body will start to change and look better. NOTE: Everything we feel manifests itself physically – our bodies reflect what we feel. Often this shows as a noticeable outwards physical change to others and ourselves (NO, I am not talking about silicone breast implants the size of basketballs here!), and sometimes it’s an inward physical or physiological change that only we can feel (you have pain everywhere and there is no explanation that your doctor can find for it through any tests he or she has run). It’s important to become aware of our Self – body, mind, spirit, emotions are all interconnected.
8. Be honest with yourself. The truth may not be very pretty but until you face it, you won’t make any progress.
9. FORGIVE YOURSELF.
10. Embrace the change this journey will bring to your life. Know that not everyone will stay with you, and that’s okay. Be aware that there are no shortcuts and sometimes you’ll feel like you’ve reached a plateau but that’s just a small ‘break’ until you have to move on to the next part.
Last few things I need to point out are important.
Remember how you got to where you are right now. Recognize what or whom you allowed to help you lose you. We’re all only human so forgive yourself.
Know that our work on our Self is never really over. And it’s not supposed to be. We’re meant to make mistakes and learn from them in order to grow and become better. But also know that once you love yourself, it doesn’t mean that’s it and you can sign off on journey as ‘completed’. It doesn’t work like that. As long as you’re breathing, you have a choice of living. And you’re not completely living unless you’re loving. And you can’t love anyone else until you love yourself FIRST, AT ALL TIMES, ALWAYS.