Isn’t that a warm and inclusive word?
You are welcome here!
I was recently struggling with two apparently conflicting beliefs: I shouldn’t be ugly, and I shouldn’t be beautiful.
There’s intense pressure on women to be beautiful. It supposedly adds value, worth. Magazines, television, films, videos — all capitalize on this. We’re inundated with images of the “right” way to look.
As a result, jealousy is rampant. I’ve been on both the sending and receiving end of jealousy and I’ve come to realize that:
Comparison is the tool of the devil.
I am ME! You are YOU! Ain’t that grand? How fabulous and healthy that we come in all colors, all shapes, all sizes.
There is no, one, right HUMAN.
Jealousy is exhausting and ruins relationships. When I was 17, my body and face morphed into beauty personified. I went from cute to goddess, which was confusing and scary. Men and women suddenly reacted to me completely differently. Friends behaved oddly. I was not prepared for the attention and venom. The hate in my mother’s eyes shook and cracked my foundation of love. Instead of helping me through this bizarre transition, she threw me to the wolves.
“I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with a beautiful daughter,” said my maternal grandmother, TO MY MOTHER.
It made me crazy. It made me suicidal. It made me angry. It made me completely isolated from any kind of support network, and prey to smooth-talking predators. Self-loathing blossomed within me. If my own mother doesn’t want me…
Honor roll Susie became arm candy. My looks superseded my native intelligence, my sense of humor, my innate creativity.
So being beautiful is dangerous. But what about ugliness?
When I was at my most diseased, being slowly poisoned by mold (unbeknownst to me), I weighed close to 200 pounds. At 5’7″ this was not healthy for me. When I finally evacuated the house, I realized that if I wanted to live — and apparently I did, because I found myself driving toward the sea — I did not have the time or energy to hate myself anymore. Choose it or lose it.
I chose love. I chose to live. I chose to cut myself a break, to love myself as I would my own daughter, my own best friend. Compassionately, gently, tenderly. Forgivingly. Tolerant of mistakes and missteps.
It takes a lot of practice. Yeah, baby.
Last week I discovered, within myself, that:
Hate = Hurt
I have been deeply unwelcoming to “ugliness” — ignoring anger, hating fat, belittling sorrow, demeaning desire. Judgement crushed me into depressions over and over again. So hard to breathe. To love. To heal. To BE.
Enough of that! I can be both beautiful AND ugly.
I hereby welcome ALL my hidden thoughts and beliefs, the beautiful and ugly, joyful and sorrowful, disgusting, painful, sick, healthy, pornographic, violent, poor, prosperous, dark, light, depressed, happy. I welcome Eeyore AND Winnie-the-Pooh. And Tigger, too!
ALL of ME. Why not love ALL of ME?
Why not love ALL of YOU?
We’re here for such a short time.