How Can We Stop Pretending
Man…how many years had I spent trying to be anyone else but me? All the years of negative body image, negative self-talk, trying to be accepted by certain types of people growing up, these issues were never addressed and it morphed and grew as I got older. As an adult I bought particular clothes to look like certain type of woman. I restrained my voice and needs for a man when I wanted him to feel good about himself instead of ME feeling good about ME first. I ate certain foods to show that I am healthy in front of people then in the comfort of my home I would inhale a bag of Munchies on the sly. In the past I have spent a lot of time pretending, but why? Why do we pretend?
It’s a question that used to bother me, but now I am finding gratitude for those periods of when I have felt lost or felt like I didn’t know who I was. I can feel gratitude because now that I do feel more connected to myself and I’m not trying to be anything else, life feels so much sweeter, loving, and nurturing when I do get to sit with myself. How can we practice as women being who we truly are? How can we love ourselves better? HOW CAN WE STOP PRETENDING
I am still a work in progress as I think so many us are even throughout our entire lives. I don’t know all the answers , but think not knowing all the answers even feels good right now because that means this journey is still going to be pretty damn interesting.
What I do know…
1) BE OPEN
In my Reiki training I was taught a particular mantra that has been so valuable to me in my healing process..
“Be open to receive whatever you need in each moment.”
Meaning be ready in each given moment to be open to receive more compassion for yourself, more love for your body, more wisdom as a woman, more truth in your relationships, more honesty as to how you’re feeling, more acceptance of what is, more release of what isn’t working for you, more of… and the list can go on and on.
2) BE PATIENT
This one is crazy hard for me. I blame my impatience on my “hot blooded Eastern European heritage” as my mom puts it. When I started my yoga teacher training a several years ago I had a hurt left shoulder which made every posture suck really bad, I wanted the pain to go away NOW! I asked my teacher at the time what I should do, should I continue with my training? She told me “our injuries are our biggest teachers” and that when I practiced patience with myself through this healing process, that what I would gain in knowledge of my pain and injury could help students in the end, man she was spot on. So I practice surrendering my need for instant gratification (as much as I can) and I’m in the patience game for the long haul.
When we will things to happen sooner than they are ready to or just want to skip right over the pain of knowing fully who you are and get to the “good chapter” we miss some important details and then the “good chapter” is not ready for you and you are missing serious LIFE pages. I’m not saying everyone needs to painfully struggle physically or emotionally to find themselves and stop pretending but being patient in the struggle no matter how big or small it is can change a person’s life. It changed mine for sure!
3) GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. THIS IS NOT EASY
I talk with my friends often about how being a human and then add on being a female is not easy but hell I’m still going to give it a whirl and remember to give myself as break when life is really hard. Whew! Sometimes just when you think you have things figured out BOOM you gain 10lbs, you have hormonal shifts, go through menopause, mood swings, PMS, babies, families, motherhood, sisterhood, fighting for a career, fighting for equality, fighting for more free time, dealing with lack of sleep, fighting to figure out your purpose…
Recognizing what is hard, stating it, and giving YOU a break in the process is powerful. When we acknowledge what is hard and not get lost in the struggle it helps take power away from being a victim and puts it back into your own hands. By giving yourself a break you give yourself permission to breathe and feel it all, to work through it. When we are just powering through this human feminine experience we can fall victim to numbing what is hard and find salvage in things like social media consumption, alcohol/drugs, over eating, over exercising, shopping etc.…which only pushes us further down and keeps us pretending more.
So take a BIG BREATH, THE BIGGEST BREATH OF YOUR DAY, state what is hard, and give yourself a mental break. YOU DESERVE IT! WE ALL DO!
But there are still going to be days when you pretend to be something else, something better, something less messy, but that is okay too. It’s part of the process baby steps to being you, baby steps to loving yourself more, baby steps to feeling great to be you and only you. Today choose to be YOU
In love and gratitude