There's a mask our society wears. Specifically (since I'm a woman) it seems to me women wear the masks. The mask I'm specifically writing about our appearance and behavior. Now - I'll say it for the record, I'm not a huge women's libber. I think we've lost women's uniqueness since the women's lib movement.
I know that makes women angry to hear, so please allow me a few words to explain. I mean, as women, we've gotten to the point where the way we look is more important than ever. Now - there are definitely important issues such as equal pay, and the me too movement, but what I'm talking about is our self-confidence.
I mean confidence that is above and beyond our makeup being on fleek (hah! see how I did that?), our wardrobe being "right" or our hair being perfect. When is the last time you went out of the house without makeup confidently? When is the last time you looked in the mirror and gave yourself approval?
This is important to me because A) I'm a woman, and B)I'm raising three more of them. I remember vividly watching my mom and grandma saying (on multiple occasions) when we were thinking of going somewhere, "Okay, let me just put my face on". They absolutely would not leave the house without makeup and hair perfect.
I remember thinking "she's pretty without it, why can't we just go?". So I have this thought very consciously every day that my little beautiful girls are watching me. I want them to be confident enough to walk out of their homes without makeup, trusting that the body they were born into is beautiful enough for others to see naturally.
The best complement I've every received from my husband was early on in our relationship, and he told me, "You know babe, one of my favorite things about you is how you look the same when you wake up as you did when you went to sleep. You don't ever wake up scary.". It still touches me because at our very young age of 24-ish, he was wise enough to know the value in that.
It also got me thinking. What are my littles seeing when I spend hours getting ready? That was really the beginning of the end for me. Now, 10+ years later (it was a process, for sure), I'm to the point where I don't wear makeup. It's not because I don't have time (lord knows at times that's been the reason), it's because I want to look the way I really look.
It's because these littles are watching me and they learn by example. Tying in with this, of course, is body image. I never say denigrating things about this beautiful physical body. It's lumpy and post-child and saggy and all the things that happen as you age. But you know what? It's absolutely miraculous and beautiful. I've born, fed, and nurtured babies with this body. I've loved my husband with this body, I've kept a home clean, safe, and loving with this body. I am so grateful for my body and I want to pass that on to these beautiful tiny humans I'm raising.
I spend time sending my body gratitude the way it is right now - not the way I wish it was. This is so incredibly freeing to my heart, mind, and soul. I don't allow myself to say negative things to my body silently either - and this was quite a challenge in the beginning.
I'm reasonably sure a large part of my mission in this life is to help you all accept yourselves exactly as you are right now. I want everyone - man, woman, and child, to stop the negative self-talk and the hatred we have that seems almost to be en vogue right now. I'd challenge you as humans to send yourselves love and work on sending yourself acceptance physically. Start small - just look at yourself in the mirror before you get in the shower tomorrow. Don't allow any negative thoughts to take hold. Observe them, but don't allow them to stick around. Baby steps. ;)
Much love to all of you,