I'm cleaning out everything. Do you get that way once or twice a year, too? Maybe it's all the presents that came into the house at Christmas while at the same time we're heading into the blank canvas of a new year. Plus, the kids are outgrowing stuff literally and figuratively day by day.
The purge is cathartic, exciting, therapeutic, etc. Wayne Dyer encouraged his students to "give it all away...without the need for compensation" (I'm paraphrasing)
As I was going through my dresser drawer by drawer, I came across a few things I had forgotten about. And it reminded me that I am in a much better place, mentally and physically, than I was a few years ago.
When I started to test the dating waters after my divorce, I worried. Worried about being Enough. Enough to attract a new partner. I mean...I was never enough to so many in my life already. It didn't matter how many presents I sent or parties I threw or phone calls I made or how I kept my house or raised my kids or what I accomplished in my professional life...the elusiveness of Love plagued me every day. And because I witnessed the people whose (unconditional) Love and Approval and Support I desired so much be so freely doled upon everyone else with great enthusiasm...I kept thinking that the reason I was not privy to the same treatment was because I STILL WASN'T ENOUGH.
Bra inserts to make my breasts look bigger. Tight compression garments to make my butt look smaller. If I could just fit myself into some mold of The Perfect Woman, I would find someone who loved me back.
One night, getting ready to go out, I put the cold cutlets into my bra and tightened up my thighs and (let me just add...I only weighed about 115 and I'm 5'4"!) as I was leaned over to grab a pair of shoes from the floor of my closet, those slippery boob inserts slipped right out of my bra and onto the floor.
I LAUGHED SO HARD. I was ready to humiliate myself leaving a trail of fake jellyfish because I thought bigger BOOBS would make me more attractive?!? I laughed that moment off...but it took a while for the lesson to sink in!
It was only after a seriously life changing event that I could finally SEE that ZERO amount of posturing or prostituting, padding or pinching, would endear my heart and soul to anyone who couldn't see my worth EXACTLY as I am.
And that's when I stopped looking outwards - I had to start inside. I had to see myself as beautiful and talented and WORTHY and nurturing and loving and funny and accomplished. I had to see myself through the eyes of my students and my friends. I had to remind myself of what pure love felt like...reverting back to my childhood and feeling the embrace of my Babu...the purest Love I could remember. I have to daily remind myself that the Universe, Infinite Intelligence, Mother Nature, God (however you define it for yourself) does NOT see me as angry or depressed or stupid or selfish. The Higher Power sees every good intention, every bit of joy, every ounce of Love that I am, and wants to nurture me as the perfect being that I am.
Love. That is what will define me. Not boob inserts or duct taped thighs. That nurturing force of Love CRUSHES anything else. Shame, manipulation, guilt...these emotions that I was so used to for so long are finally receding as the waves of love break down old habits and self doubt.
Slowly...I removed the voices from my life and my head that kept harping on my shortcomings, and started amplifying the voices that built up my strengths. And what this does is allows me to do the same for those I adore and love and nurture in return. I am a better teacher, a better mother, a better partner because I practice this attitude to as many people as I can every day: build up their strengths, don't harp on their weaknesses. Be a source of Unconditional Love that knows mistakes are part of the journey - we are ALL learning and growing and improving every day.
Love people for who they are...nurture the aspects of their greatness...always believe in their amazing potential. It brings great Joy to my heart to BE that person for myself, and for whoever else needs it from me, every day.
And..if you feel better about yourself with a padded bra or a control top waist shaper...you do YOU. If it makes you FEEL good, go for it! But I hope that you never ever feel that there is a magic garment or insert that makes you worthier of love...because, dear soul, you are already perfect, and worthy. And I send you great love.