The Pain of Perception

 

Check out the girl in this photo. How does she look to you?

If you had to describe the picture in one word what would it be?

Did any of the following words come to mind: Fat, Ugly, Insecure, Unworthy.

Probably not.

Here’s the deal. The girl in the pic? That’s me… about 3 years ago.

I was by a beach on the east coast of Argentina. They were truly happy days for me. But… what you probably don’t know and can’t pick up from this photo is how much self-loathing I had for myself.

You see… I write about love. Especially self-love… not because I am some hippie obsessed with love but because I KNOW what it’s like to be without love and the difference it makes to have love and further more, to recognize that you ARE love.

For years, I did not love myself. I hated my body, I hated the way I looked, the incessant hair that grew on my arms and face, I hated the clothes I had to wear because I was a girl, I pretty much disliked everything about me.

In my entire family, I felt like I was the only one who was overweight. I was also the only tomboy. The odd one. The black sheep. I didn’t want to get married so I was defying my parent’s principles and expectations and maybe even the illusion of their purpose for existence. Outcast. Marginalized. Rebel. But it didn’t make me proud. It hurt. It ached. But the truth was stronger than the pain. I knew I had to keep moving forward. And so I did… despite the opposition. I didn’t realize how brave that was.

But I looked at that picture above and I couldn’t help but laugh! I love that photo. It’s so beautiful. They’re a couple of pictures where you see a purple ring around me, a lot people say it’s my aura! It’s almost as if you could see the soul.

But you know what? During that moment, all I remember is how much I criticized myself. How well I put myself down, oh boy, I should’ve won some kind of prize. I didn’t appreciate my beauty. Not just physical. In general. I always focused on what I didn’t have or what I was missing or what I had in excess. Funny enough, now when I look at photos from the past all I can see is the beauty!

How could I not notice the beauty? I hope I am not coming across as vein now, haha, but really… honestly… if you guys knew how much I beat myself up for not fitting into a stereotype you would understand how elated I feel now to notice that I never had to. That it was so superficial. That I was never in competition with anyone. All I had to do is be me. I wish I could go back in time to the girl I was and appreciate her! Life would be so different…

But.. I am here now. Honoring myself. My beauty, my mind, my heart, my energy.

When I see that photo now, I remember that the girl in that photo, as flawed as she thinks she is, she is also beautiful. So beautiful, so free, so loving, so kind, so generous, so independent, so deep, so spontaneous and full of life! This is her essence.

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I can’t stress it enough. How you perceive yourself creates the filter, the lens through which you see everything… your entire world. How you see others is a reflection of how you see yourself. So if you see yourself as unworthy, you are going to seek worthiness in places and people…. and that just isn’t healthy. Trust me, I know.

The worst part is… no one can get you to do it. No matter how hard I try… I can’t make you love you. You have to decide to. Just like I did. One day, you just wake up and decide you are going to be loving and gentle and kind with your body, your heart and your mind.

So, whether you are a self-loving enthusiast, on the path or not there yet, know that I am here to support you in your journey. Because this is a journey. So don’t rush to get to the destination. All will come in due time. For now, observe yourself. Start noticing how you talk to yourself. How you communicate with your inner world. We think it’s okay because no one can hear us but we’re wrong. WE hear it. So just notice…. and find one thing about yourself that you absolutely LOVE. Like really, really love. Write it down, paint it, dance it, sing it, remix it, collage it, instagram or twitter it and bask in the joy of it!

Happy Sunday ❤

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If you would like to hear me go on and on about Love check out some of my previous posts! I will leave the links below:

An open love letter to my Heart

Let Love In

Same Love

You are LOVED

Higher Love

Strength in Vulnerability

I’ll Never Be Enough

Give your heartstrings a tug..

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I suffer from F.O.B.S {& more confessions…}

I’ve procrastinated for over 2 weeks deliberating whether or not to write this article. Alas, here I am.

This is going to be a tad different from other posts. I’m going to get more personal and intimate with you. More open, more honest.

Am I a positive person? Hell yes.

Am I spiritual? I am constantly practicing spirituality.

Am I kind? The older I get, the kinder I get.

Am I good? As good as I want to be on a good day.

Am I perfect? No freaking way.

I am human after all.

Could I be better? Yes.

Could I be happier? Indeed.

Could I be more stable in my emotions? Absolutely!

Could I achieve great things? Yes. Yes. Yes.

What’s stopping me?

That is what we’re going to talk about today…

You see, I think that ever since childhood I’ve suffered from this particular syndrome.

I call it the F.O.B.S, i.e:

THE FEAR OF BEING SEEN

 

Just by hearing this, you can probably relate. Maybe it made you smile or shy away. Either way, I know I’m not alone in this.

The Fear of Being Seen Syndrome has plagued me my whole life.

Imagine that you are the sole owner of the biggest, brightest, clearest and finest diamond in the entire world. What do you do? Wear it around your neck everywhere you go? Or keep it somewhere hidden where you know it will be safe?

Now imagine, that diamond… is you. You are this beautiful, one of a kind gem. You’re priceless. So what do you do? Do you put yourself out there, lay your truth bare, stand naked in Times Square to show off your radiance? No… you hide it. You keep it safe. You protect it. Or at least that’s what you tell yourself…

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All these years, it’s what I told myself. I was SO AFRAID of being seen. Of someone discovering the REAL me. Of being recognized for who I really am. Of being noticed for my kindness, my thoughts, my words, my deeds, and most importantly…. My heart.

Yet, at the same time, I was DYING for someone to see beyond what I would show. Like some magic stare from some magical person could break through all the falsities and just see… me. If it happened like that, I would know that I was safe.

Ultimately, it was a fear of being hurt, rejected, judged, criticized, also a fear or raising the bar of expectations (for others and myself), a fear of not being able to go backwards, a fear of not recognizing myself, of losing the relationship I had with me. A fear of being inadequate, of not feeling like enough….. Basically, the entire dictionary of fears!

No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake these fears off my shoulders. I collected all my insecurities like jewelry and decorated myself with them.

For years I felt heavy. Unaware of the invisible weight I was carrying around with me. (not to mention the additional physical weight of top of that!)

It took me YEARS and I mean that literally to gain some perspective, some self-love and self-respect.

To love myself, want myself and choose myself the way I wanted others to.

It took me decades to value and appreciate my strengths, my talents, my gifts, my AWESOMENESS!

Like I am a GREAT listener (seriously, ask anybody), If you’re my friend you know you can always count on me, I’m a giving lover, I’m a challenging daughter (in a  good way hahaha, I love you Ma & Pa), I’m a grateful traveler, a pretty rad teacher. However, there are things I want to try that push me outside of that attractive comfort zone so I keep procrastinating because secretly I am terrified of trying new things (yup). For example, my friends tell me I have a really nice voice and I’ve got a knack for storytelling. I actually love to tell stories. However, making videos or starting a podcast intimidates me. (plus im not as technologically savvy as I seem…. You see what happened right there? Another limiting belief… * mental delete*)

These are things that I push through, little by little, piece by piece, day by day, until the puzzle is complete.

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I KNOW I have so much more to offer, to give away, to learn, to see, to be. Sometimes during my meditations I feel this power surge through me, begging me to be released. How? Where? Into what? These are the current questions that plague me.

How do I reach a state of full expression? Without limitations or restrictions?

How do I let myself show, completely, unapologetically, openly, strongly, and wholeheartedly?

How do I let go of my fear of being more that what I thought I was capable of?

How do I fall into all this gorgeous glory?

Gosh, does it really belong to me?

YES!!!! Because IT IS ME!

So, I guess, my advice to you after all these years of searching and hurting and growing and breaking and learning is the following:

Life is a story and you are the main character. You can choose to be the hero, the villain or the victim.

But ultimately, it’s your choice. You can hold so many titles. Play so many characters. Just choose the one that fits you best.

Every day I choose to be the hero. The warrior. The kindness agent. The dream maker. The philosopher. The gardener. The healer. The photographer. The artist. The musician. The nomad. The label breaker. The seamstress. The butterfly. The leaf. The sun rays. The treasure. The diamond. The student. The guest. The star. The instrument. The raindrop. The feather. The cloud. The ocean. The rock. The scientist. The lotus. The dragon. The swan. The passenger. The key. The pearl. The projector. The blank page. The entire damn Saga.

You are a soul. You are Concentrated Energy. Know this. Know the light that you hold. The power within.

Know your worth. Discover you’re limitless. Admire yourself.

You are everything you have ever searched for

You are Love

You are Peace

You are Happiness

You are Truth

You are Beauty

You are Bliss

Know this

Feel this

Be this

And allow yourself to shine through

All the fears and BS around you

Just…

Be.

Dear Reader,

I beg of you…

Remember your divinity.

 

{this article was mad scary to write so please be gentle with your comments. My big, open, heart would appreciate it. Thanks}

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You don’t have to try…

Why should you care, what they think of you
When you’re all alone, by yourself
Do you like you? Do you like you?

I have to admit. I cried when I heard this song. It took me back to a time, a time where all I ever did was try.

I tried to fit in, I tried to be accepted, I tried to please others. Make them proud. I tried to be what they wanted me to be.

It was painful. 

I felt so far from the person that everyone wanted me to be and I felt less because of it.

I felt so small, so worthless, a disgrace in many ways.

I was different. I always was. This fact always made me feel out of place.

I was lost. Where did I belong?

Today. Oh, today is a glorious day. Today is a day I’m proud of that struggle. Because if gave me strength. That strength then transformed into the courage I needed to follow my heart.

Today I’m a soul that’s fallen into my body. Today there’s nothing you could tell me that would make me like myself any less.

“At that moment I was sure. That I belonged in my skin. That my organs were mine and my eyes were mine and my ears, which could only hear the silence of this night and my faint breathing, were mine, and I loved them and what they could do.”

— Dave Eggers

Sure, the people that had problems with me then still have them with me now.

I’m too boyish, too overweight, too this, too that.  

But that’s ok. Because I am ok with it. I accept myself. I love myself and I know that I am more than the sum of my parts. I am heart, I am soul, I am creativity, I am magic. And you can’t fit that on any scale or put it into any outfit.

This society we live in, this crazy popular society likes to categorize things, give everything it’s appropriate label, stereotype things to make it easier. So a lot of people end up with labels such as “freak, weirdo, pervert, ugly, fat, wh*re, b*tch…” and the list goes on.

Would you ever speak to someone you love like that? How could you ever refer to another soul in that manner?

The problem is Vision. We have a limited vision. We see things on the surface and we assess their value based on that. We make too many assumptions and we aren’t looking at the whole picture.

Connect with yourself. Connect with your TRUE SELF. The being that you truly are. A being of light, of beauty, of truth, happiness, of power and virtue.

Really look at yourself with the vision of your soul.

I practice looking at myself in the mirror on mornings and I recite an affirmation:

“You are a being of light. You are wondrous. You are gorgeous. You are powerful. You have a purpose. Share that today with someone” 

I then carry that soul vision around with me, It’s like wearing a pair of shades and I see the entire Universe in a different light. Everything is… just a little more bright.

And people. One of my favorite things to do these days in this new city that I’m in is to sit in a park and watch people pass me by. The range and variety of them, their laughter, their chatter, their expressions, their energy are so contrasting. So unique. Each soul is unique. I feel like a witness to a miracle for each person that passes me by. I appreciate each and every one of them.

Do you think you could do that? Put on the glasses of your soul and look at yourself and love yourself. really love yourself. deep down. in spaces no one else knows about but you. in your darkness. in your downfalls. on your bad hair days. with your fears, your doubts, your mistakes. Know that there is nothing NOT worth loving.

You are lovable. You are 100% lovable. You don’t need to hide an inch or change a thing.

Look into the mirror, at yourself
Don’t you like you?
Cause I like you

Be that awesome person that you are and share that vision with someone else.

Make someone else feel just as awesome as you 🙂

Namaste.