Today’s post involves exposing my vulnerability to the world. But in doing so, I want you to know that you are not alone. In our struggle towards contentment and self-love, we often face setbacks just as we learn to take pride in our milestones. Sometimes, a person or a situation triggers a fight or flight response. All of a sudden, we find ourselves running into the woods for refuge, with no breadcrumbs to find our way back.
I know for certain that all of us at some point in our lives feel lonely even when we are surrounded by people, noise and distractions. It’s that familiar stinging in the chest when we don’t feel accepted, when we are made to feel like inferior earthlings standing awkwardly on our two unsteady feet in a crowd crippling with perfection. All the confidence that we thought we owned, all the carefree joy that fills our world, all our trust in positivity – suddenly seems ruthlessly uprooted. Losing a grasp on our emotions, not knowing how to control the way we feel, fighting our brains to think like we would want it to – nothing makes sense and all our attempts at self-recovery are futile, lost in vain.
We feel a void deep inside our bodies. We want to go into a deep dark hole and stay there. Forever. Because, looking these people in the eye makes us enraged – more at ourselves, rather than at them. Why do these people have the power to change the way we feel about ourselves – even if momentarily. Self esteem and confidence that take so much inner work, are annihilated with one sick glance, one unkind word or one rude action.
My state of mind doesn’t need any further introduction. Today is one of those days where I have let myself fall prey to judgement, discrimination and body shaming – none of which I believe should affect me because I love myself, flaws and all. But today, I feel as though no matter how hard I try to break the stigma of being a mother who cares about her body, mind and soul – I can’t change prejudices and preconceptions. I can be better, do better, get fitter – but I will still be a mom, and I will be firmly enveloped into that identity, sealed and written-off. I should be saying ‘I couldn’t care less, say what you have to’. But, I’m sitting here and wondering – is this what the world teaches their children? That mothers are not smart, not sexy, not independent?! That only celebrity moms or moms with perfect bodies are to be worshipped, emulated or idolised? When can we start looking at women, not as wives, mothers or ladybosses but just as ‘women of substance’. When can we let our distinctive, unique qualities define us? – without the pressure of looking stylish, slim or dressing in a certain way. When will our voices reach beyond our bodies?
The strangest part of our stories is that we are often let down by other women, not men. Women who thrive from competing, bitching, locking women down in identity cages. It is often said that haters hate because you have something they don’t. Well, sometimes haters hate because they can. Because they are slimmer, fitter, healthier, smarter, more successful, or more educated. In such situations, I try and tell myself that someone who feels the need to prove their superiority, is probably the one that feels most inferior. These people, conversations, and environments are toxic. Try and walk away from them. What you heard or what what said or done, may follow you like a mocking shadow – but even if it is impossible to shift your focus, you have to try. Like, I’m doing now. One positive thought can change your mood. Focus on a good thought and let it spread through your veins like a virus. It is always easier to think of something new to elevate the spirits rather than to try and not care about what is bothering you.
It is saddening to see that we as a generation wish for every facet of our lives to mimic celebrity lives. If a celebrity has wash board abs 4 months post childbirth, we must too. If a celebrity goes back to work 4 months post childbirth, we should too. What is with this pressure of being so perfect all of the time? The pressure of being great at everything except at giving time and love to ourselves. Why can’t we just let go and live each moment mindfully? Enjoy holding our children before they grow too big. Rejoice in holding hands and walking barefoot on the beach. Just take a step back, stop and breathe. Why can’t we just stop ‘doing’ and start ‘being’ – the whole point of being a ‘human being’? (a beautiful thought from a recent ad campaign for Sanctuary Spa)
One day, we the positive dreamers (who spread love as thick as Nutella on toast) will outnumber the toxic haters. Like in ‘The Matrix‘, it is the duty of us dreamers to ‘unplug‘ enslaved haters from their virtual world of perfectionism. Show them the light. Brighten up. Let their negativity bounce off your brightness (if you know me, you have heard this plenty).
On that note, it’s time for me to do some positive journaling and begin tomorrow with a fresh perspective. Posts like these always make me wish that I was an anonymous blogger. But, facing my fears happens to be on my list of resolutions for 2018; doesn’t hurt to start early yeah? Until next time, XOXO.