Up until this point, I haven’t had any trouble writing these blogs posts. I was mad, had something to say and so I wrote it and posted it.
Lately I’ve been in a very different mentality and I’ve been trying to dig a bit deeper, pushing myself a little bit further to understand my thoughts, feelings and hang-ups on certain things. I don’t see this as either good or bad, just a step along the way in healing.
I’ve been thinking a lot about armour, and by that I mean the different things we use in our lives to manage peoples' perceptions of us. Again, I’m not thinking about it in a good or a bad way, just what my different “protective shields” might be and how I use them. For example, makeup. I LOVE makeup. I think if you asked any of my good friends, they would tell you that I’ve always loved makeup. For me, it’s more than just applying some blush and mascara, it’s a creative outlet. But at the same time, I've come to realize that I rely on it to give me confidence when I go out in to the world.
I’ve been experimenting a bit and going out on weekends to do errands with little or no makeup. I’ve also been thinking about the instances where I don’t feel comfortable doing that and why. Like I wouldn’t go to work bare-faced, that’s for sure. I guess I'm more concerned what my colleagues would think and whether I would be taken as seriously without it!
The other thing I’ve been thinking about a lot is body kindness/positivity vs. fat liberation. The idea of accepting your body at any size and seeing the inherent value in it - regardless of size, ability, health status - is really quite lovely, but I don’t think it’s the same as acknowledging that diet culture is deeply rooted in misogyny, power structures, capitalism and ridiculous beauty standards. Diet culture is a societal norm that translates into an entire group of people being told they need to change the way they look in order to be more appealing or conform to specific beauty standards. What’s even better is that diet culture then takes it a step further and says that when you fail to do this, it’s your fault. So the fat person who fails to make themselves skinny (or “healthy”, as is the more recent trend) lacks willpower, motivation, discipline and self-control.
Essentially, I’ve come to look at diet culture as a very strong and thriving system of control that empowers one group of people and disempowers another. Body kindness is nice, but can you imagine if the movement was called the women’s kindness movement or the women’s positivity movement instead of the women’s liberation movement? That would have been completely ridiculous. So why is body kindness/positivity dominating this sphere instead of fat liberation or body liberation?
On a regular basis, I’ve also been asking myself “what is self-love?” because I keep getting told that that’s what I need. Apparently, when I love and value myself, that’s when everything will come together. I’m not saying I disagree, but I’m saying that I’m not entirely sure what that means or how to get there. Is self-love learning when to let go of things that no longer serve you? I don’t love that “learning to let go” bit though, because I don’t think it’s something you have much control over. So then maybe self-love is learning to sit with uncomfortable feelings until your perspective beings to shift a little and you’re able to focus less and less on the external sources of anger/frustration/resentment and more on what your own soul needs to thrive and heal (see next point below).
I like the idea of thinking about self-love as a process and maybe even a practice – not of forgiveness or letting go – but of compassion, understanding, patience and kindness directed at your own self.
Healing My Inner Child
And then also – and this is a big one – I’ve been thinking about my inner child and what it means to heal her. I read something the other day that was talking about how children just want to be seen and heard, so I’ve been trying to listen to my inner child and acknowledge that she exists. I feel like that one sounds the most woo-woo and I don’t really know how to explain it, but I definitely attach it to past trauma and therefore necessary to resolve (eventually). The holistic psychologist on Instagram is great for posting stuff around this and I found a meditation (either on the Women’s Meditation Network or Mindfulness in Minutes – can’t remember which) that helps you soothe your inner child. It’s also something I’ve been working on during reiki and in therapy.
Normally at this point I would try and tie this all together with a nice little bow and find some common denominator or “take-away”, but I got nada. I feel like I have more questions than answers and that I'm being pulled in quite a few directions. It might be time to sit down and focus on one thing at a time, but something tells me that’s now how this works. I also have this sneaking suspicion that I’m not going to figure this all out anytime soon and that’s fine. It just makes for some scattered blog posts and a notebook that’s full of very random thoughts, lol. I’ll have to circle back to some of these topics in future blog posts and see how things change.