Look in the mirror and stop finding flaws.
Stop bullying yourself and start appreciating everything you are.
Because you know what?
Everything you are right this moment is perfect.
It is perfect because it is YOU.
I was sitting in a local coffee shop recently drinking my coffee and trying to write. I spent more time looking out the window. The weather outside appeared to have cleared and the snow that had been falling had finally stopped. The parking lot though plowed, still had piles of snow and a thick sheet of ice covering it. Maine in the winter time is beautiful but it is also a pain in the ass sometimes. I watched as a SUV pulled in and parked. Slowly each of the doors opened and 4 well dressed women got out of the vehicle all of them frantically clutching the door to keep from falling. Slowly they made their way to the back of the vehicle while holding an over sized purse in one hand and the side of the SUV with the other. I had to stifle a chuckle, as I noticed that they were all wearing very expensive boots- with 6 inch heels. Eventually they ran out of vehicle to hold onto and began to grasp one another as they made their way across the icy lot. I could hardly control my laughter watching the panicked looks on their faces as they made their way inside. Who wears 6 inch heels in a snowstorm? Who forgoes the LL Bean boots for their Aldos in a Maine snow storm? Apparently, these women.
I just as quickly lost interest as they entered in a whirl of expensive perfume, giggling and orders of extra skinny this with half cafe whatever. Honestly their orders gave me a headache so I went back to my laptop and tried to get something going. Of course the troupe of the high-heeled women sat directly behind me. Their conversation never missing a beat as they removed their jackets and sat down. Much to my chagrin I found that instead of tuning them out I eavesdropped on their conversation. I couldn't help myself.
Each one of these women was beautiful by society's standards. Slim, perfect hair and makeup and dressed to the nines for a simple coffee date. Yet for the next hour each one of them went on and on about everything that was wrong with them. From diets they were trying, to their hours with a trainer and on to comparing themselves to famous celebrities and what they would give to have someone else's body, hair or perfect teeth. They sat there and disparaged themselves more in that hour that I had in an entire week. These women weren't fishing for compliments from their friends either. They really believed what they were saying. That they were so flawed that they couldn't look in the mirror, stand on their scale or allow themselves to eat a slice of the chocolate cake that was taunting them from the counter. All for what? The quest to be perfect? I was stunned quite frankly. Here were 4 women that from the outside looking in lead perfect well coiffed lives and they hated themselves. Listening to them broke my heart and made me want to get them that cake.
I lost all interest in the piece I was writing and focused instead on what they were saying. The level of intensity that each one of these women hated themselves shocked me, saddened me and made me want to diet. 2 of them were married as they referenced their husbands, one was dating and the last one in her words; "Will never find any man that would love her because of how gross she was". Her words not mine. This "gross" single lady was beautiful and every hetero guy with a pulse I know would agree. I wanted to hug her and then shake some sense into her.
Why couldn't she see what I saw?
Long after I left that coffee shop these women plagued my thoughts. I thought about all the negative thoughts I had on a daily basis. Thoughts that if someone outside of myself said to me I would probably punch in the nose. For the next week I found myself observing other women and listening to their conversations. Not once did I hear one of them say that they were proud or happy with themselves. Instead what I heard over and over was how every single one of them wanted to change into something prettier, skinnier or just all together different then what they were. How they would only be content when they looked like someone else. It made me sad and it made me angry to realize just how focused we are on changing the very things that make us unique. That we all feel we need to change what we look like in order to be "just like everyone else".
Who sets these damn standards anyway?
I will tell you- we do.
We are our own worst enemies and we need to stop battling ourselves in the quest for perfection. From teenage girls to grown women the battle wages every day to be beautiful. Eating disorders rage out of control, depression and self hatred are the norm. We talk about bullying all the time and the devastating effect it has on the victims. But what about bullying ourselves? We bully ourselves every day, we disrespect ourselves and we belittle ourselves. It is not motivating; nor is it a kick in the ass to be a better person. It is simply convincing us that we are less than perfect and in this, not good enough. It has to stop. Who cares about society’s standards or airbrushed models in magazines?
Look in the mirror and stop finding flaws. Stop bullying yourself and start appreciating everything you are. Because you know what? Everything you are right this moment is perfect. It is perfect because it is YOU. Having goals to work towards for personal betterment is one thing and always striving to be the best you possible is awesome. But love yourself in the process. Be who you are, extra pounds, wrinkles or out of control hair. Who cares? Before anyone else will love you- you must first love yourself.
Accept yourself flaws and all.
JV Manning's work and keep her in coffee ♥
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