Today in “groups” we talked about “ACT” Acceptance, Commitment Therapy. I missed the first group because I was on the phone having a psychology appointment (Finally!!! YASS!!!) but I came into the second class and we talked about making meaningful lives for ourselves and what was important to us – what made life worth living, that sort of thing.
The Coordinator, Blake – asked a question that made me blog today – “Who do you aspire to be?”
I thought I was her already because my “core values” are of kindness, compassion, patience (when I can – to be honest I’m pretty impatient), honesty, integrity, loyalty…I thought that was my authentic self.
In many ways, it is – but who am I when no one else is looking???
Honestly? I’m a ball of fucking RAGE.
I’m not polite. I’m not sweet. I DON’T CARE ABOUT STARVING AFRICANS. I’m selfish, impulsive and incredibly judgemental.
I tried to think back to the times in my life when I’ve been the most authentic version of myself and I can remember 2 distinct times. What they had in common is that I was at a premium weight and felt SEXY, powerful, confident and comfortable in my skin. When I’m thin, I can look at other girls without comparison. When I’m fat (as I have been for 10 years now, damn it), I compare myself immediately to the other girls in the room/walking through the city/at work/on the bus. I immediately fall short and feel ashamed and uncomfortable because I’m so much larger. I have pimples on my HUGE FOREHEAD. My arms jiggle. I’m awkward in my movements because they’re so much harder when I have so much fat to move around.
The first time I noticed myself being 100% genuine, I was in my early 20’s. I remember a specific moment where I was at a shopping mall with the Youth group. I’d moved to Darwin to be with Matt (AAAARGGGHHHH!!!!) so the entire Youth Group was new to me. I wasn’t worried about fitting in because I was so comfortable in my own company that it didn’t matter – so of course, I naturally slotted in.
We’d all ordered our various lunches and I was sitting at a small table with an absolutely naturally stunning girl. She wasn’t wearing any makeup. This girl was thin, tall, had amazing long, firey-red mermaid-type hair and a beautiful bridge of brown freckles across her perfect little nose. Everything about her spoke of beauty and grace. I don’t remember her name so let’s call her “Brenna”.
Brenna and I made eye contact and both smiled.
“You’re really pretty” I observed. OBJECTIVELY. Not comparing. Not feeling bad that I wasn’t as tall or that I didn’t have Brenna’s long legs and delicate wrists and ankles – just noticing that she was pretty and being comfortable enough in myself to give her a true compliment.
When I compliment people, the foundation of the compliment is truth, but the reason I feel compelled to do it is often rooted in fear and wanting to be liked/approved of.
But this compliment came from a light, airy space in my heart and when I gave it, I gave it freely. It didn’t “cost me” emotionally, I wasn’t after approval or for her to like me, I just wanted her to know I noticed she was attractive.
She smiled in surprise “Me? Have you looked at yourself? You’re gorgeous!” and she laughed – a beautiful sound – while touching me lightly on the arm. Such a warm, sweet gesture that connected us in that moment in time and space.
Brenna and I met in that moment – heart to heart – with so much confidence in ourselves that we were free to genuinely compliment each other.
It was a moment that passed within seconds and I don’t recall what I ordered for lunch or what the other youth were up to. I don’t even remember if Matt came to sit with me or not…but I will forever remember that exchange of compliments and how good it felt to give and recieve one with no strings attached.
The 2nd time was in 2009 when again, I’d lost 30 kilos and was feeling pretty damn fiiiiiiine. I would catch my reflection in store windows and beam a happy grin at it.
Yass Queen! Look at you, looking so good!
I felt so happy and so confident and comfortable within myself that I was able to get myself an apartment in the city, a great job, and enjoy time out with my friends without worrying “do they like me?” “Is this ok?” “Am I doing this/that right?” “Am I going to make any angry or feel offended without knowing it?”
I WAS JUST FREE TO BE ME.
The genuine me is cheeky. She laughs a lot. She’s curious. Instead of thinking “How dare you?” if someone is being rude, she’s more likely to want to know what caused it and learn from that.
The genuine me is HEAPS OF FUN to hang out with. I’m plucky, cheeky, great at ‘good bants’ and a big flirt. The genuine me is actually really, really beautiful. She has warm, caramel skin, tight spiralled hair, big brown eyes, thick lashes, a cute chin and thickkkkk lips which are just stunning.
I’d like to get back to her.
I hope it’s not too late.