This past weekend I was at a 3-day workshop. We dressed up for the videos to be recorded the last day and I was wearing one of my favorite suits. As I walked in, the host commented, “you look like a million bucks.”
My reaction surprised me. It wasn’t a “gee, thanks.” It wasn’t, “damn right I do” (and I did). It brought up a surprising discomfort, something I couldn’t immediately put my finger on.
And then it came to me.
The memory of me as a 12 year-old young lady, dressed up for a family event. The adults drinking as they always did, telling me how pretty I was. They were trying to make me feel better and doing the best they knew how.
I have a picture from that day and my outfit and hair were nice. Inside though, I felt anything but. I felt ugly. I had been abused by someone and was drowning in the feelings I wasn’t able to express.
The dichotomy of pretty on the outside and ugly on the inside carried with me for many years.
I hid my body by the blousy clothes I wore. Or by the 20 or 30 extra pounds I carried. Or both.
Pain has a funny way of making us hide ourselves. Often without us realizing it.
As I healed and became aware of the patterns, so much finally made sense. I stopped hiding. Stopped covering up. I emerged as I moved through the old hurts that I carried for so long.
Emerging brings a level of beautiful awareness.
The women I work with don’t hide from their feelings anymore either. It’s in our awareness that we continue to heal and move through what makes us uncomfortable, so much more quickly.
This past weekend, I was being seen on a whole new level. The trigger was the compliment and the source was the memory. It doesn’t mean I’m going back to that old place. It’s a new level of awareness. Being able to quickly identify where it’s coming from and move through it.
It’s coming to a place of consideration and thoughtfulness of your feelings and reactions. It’s doing it gently with someone who understands your struggle, who was in that same place.
Are you ready for your beauty to emerge?