Food for thought from my favorite yoga teacher, “Everything someone says or does to you is just an offering, whether you accept it or not is completely up to you.” Here is my offering.
I think that society has a system of degrading women to nothing more than the opinions of men around us. Blame it on the feminist ideals. (YES, I did just use the F word!)
I reject that idea. I am not the opinion of the men who look at me.
“You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female’.”- Erin McKean
I feel that so deeply.
There is so much more to me than a face, a body, a shape.
Lie #1: Beauty outside gets you farther than beauty inside
Oh how I wish this lie would stop being part of such a miserable cycle. By making a woman think her worth is determined by her looks, we perpetuate the idea that she pays rent with outer beauty. Yikes.
Men and women alike come in all shapes, sizes and looks. If someone only found my value in my looks, we would both be sorely disappointed. My points of vanity, my eyes and my curves are not enough to carry a conversation. They certainly didn’t factor into college applications, my resume… they don’t even heavily feed into my self esteem.
Lie #2: A break up is a failure and being dumped is due to your inadequacy
I was just dumped. Via phone call. From a guy who’s words were, “I don’t want to deal with this or you” and came after a fight that he had picked. When it happened, I found myself worrying that people would think I had failed. I couldn’t keep my man happy. I couldn’t be enough. I couldn’t play my roll.
What. The. Hell.
Why do I care what any one thinks? I like to think I’m pretty self aware. I can evaluate myself and determine where I’m at. I can usually identify crazy behavior. I can usually decide when I’m overreacting. I can usually identify when I’m just being a mess.
To go through a moment where someone decides to turn their back on you and walk away and only consider what others will think, is absurd.
So I checked in with myself.
How did I feel?
Do I feel like a failure? No.
Do I feel incapable of emotionally connecting? No.
Do I feel like I am somehow less worthy of attention, affection, etc because ONE person decided I wasn’t worth the emotional investment? No.
Do I think I have a million quirks and maybe that’s not for everyone? Absolutely.
Am I okay with it? Infinitely, yes.
Screw anyone (actually… don’t) who places your relationship status at the head of your table. You know what YOU have to bring to the table.
Lie #3: You should always be the one who is less attached
What? When did it become socially accepted and even encouraged to be the less invested party?
I care. I have never had a middle. I am all or nothing. If I care, I care.
It is okay to care. It is okay to feel. It is okay to emotionally invest, even more than someone else does.
It doesn’t all have to be playing hard to get and seeming unavailable… romantic entanglements can be much less stressful with proper communication. Find a man (or woman) who can communicate… what a difference.
Lie #4: Sweat the small stuff
My mom has a saying, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”
That doesn’t even need a big explanation. Just take yourself out of a situation if it’s not your chaos.
I am learning to apply this. I am saving myself from a lot of anxiety and heartache.
Lie #5: Money = Better
You can have time or you can have money.
You can work 8 hours of overtime or you can go to the beach. You can pile on more work or you can go on that first date. You can stress (see rule 4) over emails, or you can enjoy your morning coffee.
Do not get me wrong, I love my job. In the weird, I think about work all the time creepy way. I do also love the beach. I love morning coffee and novels. I love dates. I love going to the movies alone. I love trips to publix that aren’t rushed. I love snuggling with Brody.
I am learning to make the choice to have time. Money is great. Money makes it possible for me to do what I need, want and should do. Money feeds me, feeds my car.
Money doesn’t make you giggle. Money doesn’t give you tan lines. Money doesn’t refresh your soul.
By all means, work. Work hard. Take pride in your work.
But remember that when you’re old and gray… money won’t keep you warm. Money isn’t the center of your best stories. Money was just a piece of the puzzle.
You can have time or you can have money.
If you made it this far, you are an angel.
Thank you for hearing out my offering.
Take care of yourself, darlings. All my love. xoxo