They’re All Beautiful, Each And Every One

Women walking hand in handOn the heels of my last post, I’m checking in here on a remarkably optimistic note. I’ve been able to process my doctor’s office scale experience, thanks largely to the outpouring of love and support and “I get its!” received from dear friends and readers. But I also shared a special weekend with hundreds of women and picked up some marvelous inspiration that has made a huge difference to my heart and soul.

Before I get into this marvelous inspiration, I’d like to summarize some high-level thoughts related to sharing my weight gain/pain:

  • Being honest and authentic is humbling. That’s not necessarily a comfortable feeling, but that’s where the growth occurs. I’m grateful for my willingness to put myself out there and risk the big unknown. I owe a full post on humility, so stay tuned for that.
  • It’s OK to have horrible thoughts. They don’t make ME horrible. I’ll survive the self-sabotage because I know we all say mean things to ourselves when our fears and insecurities are triggered. It’s human. I suspect that along with more self-love will come kinder thoughts and more compassionate self-talk. What I experienced last week is a big red flag that there’s a lot of work to be done…and that’s a good thing.
  • What you resist persists. The whole incident–from getting on the scale to feeling hopeless and unworthy–is demonstrative of my distorted inward-facing lens, at least how I perceive weight/body/worthiness issues. It’s pretty darn clear now that my sense of “I’ll never be enough, anyway” has built a fortress around my heart that has kept toxic energy and excess flab under my skin.
  • I can touch people, and they touch me. Sharing my story has helped soften people into a state where they can say, “I get this, and thank you!” I put it this way because it’s not always easy to a) read highly charged personal accounts, b) feel your own uncomfortable feelings, and c) comment on them. What a gift! And a gift for all of us, really, so I’m filled with gratitude.
  • About 734 other nuggets of wisdom I’m not recalling right now. But they’re in my head and heart, somewhere.

Ready for that marvelous inspiration? I attended my college reunion this past weekend and was surrounded by hundreds of glorious women. No joke, because I went to an all-women’s college. These are women from their early 20s to late 80s, each with her own story, her own insecurities, and her own power. I was struck by how much we all share–how our hearts align around sisterhood, spirituality, and sentimentality–and how this spans time and space. Whether we graduated in 1952 or 2017, we are in the same heart-space! And that’s beautiful. Even the women who weren’t on campus this weekend, separated by state lines or even death, were there–in our hearts!

The stuff of the heart and soul is what stuck out to me this weekend. Not the stuff about who looked “gorgeous” or who had the best wardrobe (which seemed to matter so much when we were younger). Our bodies change. Our hair gets gray, wrinkles start to develop. We may be (or not!) less willing to stay up partying ’til 3 a.m. because we want to enjoy a morning walk. We start to talk about loss, about new beginnings, about searching for purpose in our lives and careers. There’s simply more depth…more opportunities to connect with each other as women.

I left the weekend a little more accepting of myself and the things that make me less than perfect. Not one of my fellow alumnae is perfect. That’s awesome–and so freeing! I didn’t get the impression that anyone was pretending to be perfect, either. Maybe it’s that we’re older now and naturally easing into our imperfections, which seems to happen as we barrel into middle-age. (Isn’t 40 the new 30? Isn’t 80 the new 70?)

The bottom line is that I wasn’t lamenting this damn 25 pounds all weekend. And I wasn’t looking at the other women and thinking about their bodies, either. That’s my point. It was ME I wanted to share with people, not my waistline, for crying out loud. Did I eat pizza three nights in a row? Yep! But let’s not get into that today…. 😉

Thank you for reading!

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One thought on “They’re All Beautiful, Each And Every One

  1. Moira Dargis says:

    Love this.
    Thanks for sharing, sister. I’m glad that I can say we are not just sister alumnae from our most beloved SMC, we are sisters on the journey. And I’m ever grateful for that.

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