While it’s safe to say I’ve never been a wallflower, I am changing things up a bit. This year I am living with bold intention. That’s right you heard me…BOLD! 2013 was a frustrating and wonderful year all rolled into one long adventure. I shall call it an adventure because it truly sounds so much more “fun” than the other words tossing about in my mind. Sigh.
On one hand – My husband and I designed and built our not so empty nest. It was rewarding to see our vision look even better than we imagined. And on the other, it was disheartening for the process to have been so “unpredictable.” But that’s life…right? As for me, I faced what I’d been putting off for years. I boldly went where I’ve never gone before. I sat myself down to write or stare at four walls almost full time. BIG smile followed by a restorative yoga breath.
I’ve practiced the million dollar question – “What’s my intention?” when standing at the crossroads of one of life’s quandaries for most of my adult life. When I answer this question earnestly, it always leads me to where I need to go, not necessarily where I want to go. It has been my scale by which I measure right or wrong, passive or impassive.
In declaring my new mantra of living with bold intention, I’m boldly tackling a subject that has been weighing heavily on my mind. It is literally that of weight.
Throughout this past year I’ve heard a plethora of comments about my physical being. Either directed squarely at me or random FB cards about women made of “sticks and bones,” or other superficial comments regarding what men prefer. Come on ladies!!! Isn’t it enough that women, all women, are constantly judged by men and ranked accordingly.
I am tiny and petite. I’ve been this way my entire life. I haven’t suddenly lost weight. I weighed in at a sassy one hundred pounds on my wedding day and weight exactly fourteen pounds more today. I spent twenty-three years lifting our son who was a quadriplegic, due to cerebral palsy. And what a great daily toning program it was! It certainly kept me in shape over the years.
I want to be very clear…I have NO problem with someone saying, “You’re so tiny.” Because well, I AM!!! I jokingly refer to myself as a freak of nature. What with my shoulders rivaling that of a child’s. And yes, this chick recently bought a top in the children’s section at my favorite boutique, Heidi Story. I’ve always poked fun at my tiny physique because it’s just pointless to take yourself too seriously.
It’s when the intention of the comment turns the corner into the dark alley known as mean spiritedness. Now that offends me.
I’ve been asked on countless occasions: “Do you even weigh a hundred pounds?” I have been asked outright, “What are you – a size 0?” YES, I am. So what! People have wondered aloud in front of me if I eat much. I’ve been told while dining to eat more – so as to “put some meat on my bones.” And behind my back, certain people have said I need to gain weight. I have even been accused of being anorexic.
I can’t change another person’s opinion of me, only how I react to it. I learned long ago that jumping through someone else’s proverbial hoop rendered me so contorted and twisted, I no longer recognized myself.
In my mind, I’ve quietly responded to each and every one of them. Me and my little self have tried to understand their intention and therefore tip-toed away with grace.
Our external self is what we carry forth into the world. It’s what we’re instantaneously judged by. A facade for our inner workings on the days we need it most. A camouflage of sorts, for our inner story. And a brilliant showcase of a happy life when all is well within.
I’m not defined by my size. But rather in the living of my life. Size tags are worn on the inside of our clothing for a reason. As my friend recently pointed out with the most awesome quote pillow that she said reminded her of me – “and though she be but little, SHE IS FIERCE.” Why yes, she is! I’ll be ordering that baby soon!
I refuse to be wasted away by the mockery and judgment of others. I can’t be reduced to skin and bones as those cards tout. My worth is not measured by a scale. I am worthy because I am. No directions required. I have doubts, worries and insecurities like everyone else. Especially on the days I need it most, I accept and love myself fully. Unburdened by the nonsense of others. Like so, I will continue to grow from a source of love.
In weighing in on what matters most. A generosity of spirit toward all women, which carries forth the essence of our heart and soul. The bold intention of lifting someone up is so much easier than putting them down. Try it. You too will be lifted up!
We have a choice. We always do. BE KIND. BE MINDFUL.
Everyday in our country, a multitude of women are rendered “skinny” due to an eating disorder or other illnesses. Many more women are struggling to be perfect, to fit into a mold of no flaws, of having perfect bodies who live perfect lives. What with all the online “insta-pictures of a life” – it’s no wonder. Everything looks good in the proper light. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Our bodies are our host by which we greet the world. Therefore, greet it knowingly.
Here’s what I believe to be a truth. When I weigh in on what matters most: integrity, loyalty, friendship, family, respect and love.
ONE SIZE FITS ALL!
“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” Amy Bloom