We live in a very strange world where we are taught that you need to look, feel and be a certain way in order to be ‘okay’. That unless you meet some predetermined set of expectations, you are not smart enough, beautiful enough, good enough …. just enough.
But who decides what beautiful is? Who determines what smart is, kind is, enough is?
And more importantly, why do we care?
Some of the top societal expectations include:
- slim = beauty
- rich = powerful
- high powered career = success
- good grades = smart
- romantic relationship = loved
- single = reject
You can never be too thin or too rich – Wallis Simpson
This quote was a part of the background of my formative years. Not that I was ever rich but certainly my understanding of success was in some way connected to this. In the age of Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons exercise videos, everyone was jumping on the fitness bandwagon in an attempt to fit the 1980’s view of beauty. Whilst this may not be your era, every generation has its own set of expectations about beauty and acceptance.
But what if you don’t fit the mould? What if no matter how hard you try you cannot be the slim person of the magazine models? What if you have never achieved the results in exams that society expects? And what if you are single after a relationship breakup?
Where does this leave you?
It can leave you feeling alone, disillusioned and inadequate. As if all the best of you that you put into trying to attain the standards of someone else, some nameless, faceless identity which has the audacity to tell you who you should be, is not enough. That all the years you spent chasing a version of yourself that doesn’t exist, was wasted.
It leaves you feeling that you are not enough!
And with this feeling you give up. You decide you are never going to attain the standards others set and although on the surface you seem to accept this, underneath, deep in your heart and soul, you punish yourself everyday for what you see as a failure.
Common ways we punish ourselves include:
- eating too much food
- alienating ourselves from other people
- giving up on learning
- becoming inactive
- settling for loneliness
And each and every one of these behaviours will reinforce your existing sense of failure and inadequacy leaving you with a feeling of hopelessness which brings paralysis.
Does this sound familiar?
This is the cycle of inadequacy and one which will keep you forever hoping and wishing that something would change. That if only …
My greatest wish is that you could see yourself through my eyes and know how magnificent you truly are
What if you decided that you are enough?
What if you chose in this moment to drop the expectations of a world that wants you to spend more in the pursuit of an ideal which is unattainable? What if you were to look yourself in the eye and instead of seeing someone who is ‘less than’ choose to see someone who has ‘more than’ to give? Someone with a heart of love, a spirit of kindness and a body designed to hug the whole world. What then?
Beyond the societal judgements you have adopted as your own, is the real you. The you which has been waiting to meet you your whole life. The you who has the capacity to sustain you, love you, bring you joy and be your best friend for every moment for as long as you live.
Why would you reject such a beautiful person?
It took me a lot of years to discover the me that was hiding in the corner. The little girl who was waiting to be found.
But the moment I did, in the second I saw her my life began to change. When she added her strength to mine, when I could see the world through her eyes it was if everything I had believed was a lie. In the moment that I chose to take care of her, she took care of me.
The truth was that I was more than enough. I had always been enough and the reason I didn’t see that in the results of my life was that I hadn’t believed it. It was only me that didn’t see the beauty in me.
I want to show you clearly how external visions of beauty change through time and that even if you were able to meet the standards at one time, you would need to be a chameleon to meet them throughout your lifetime. This video is from the big hair, tiny shorts and lycra era of the 1980’s.
As you look back, you can laugh at what appears ridiculous today and yet at the time was everything we aspired to be.
Just be you. It is ridiculous to try to be anyone else and why would you try? Give those you love the privilege of seeing you happy.
Seriously … life is too short for anything else.
Love, laugh, cry, hug … be … YOU x