The other day I cried when looking at the photos from our photoshoot. I've never experienced such emotion just by looking at my face! New wrinkles in the last five years. We were purposely shooting for the natural look...minimal makeup and only a dollop of hair-goop. You know, the Polished Imperfection look! It all sounds trivial, perhaps, to cry over wrinkles.
It would have seemed especially egregious if I had allowed myself to get caught in the trap of frequently judging my sad feelings up against someone with more 'worthy' woes than I. You see, I thought I had arrived at the wisdom that it's okay to experience personal misery, regardless of how worse off someone else may have it. Well, I've somewhat come to gain higher insight!
Here's some extra vulnerability to share. I found myself asking Carrie to stop telling people I am four years younger than her. Can you tell I have some work to do on my insecurities?! The truth is, I was in my way, comparing myself to her in a negative way. This time, it was not about a feeling Carrie that has it worse, so I should be quiet about my woes; no, it was in line with feeling that she was aging less rapidly; thus, I felt less worthy! To admit this is to shed light on how we can become our own worst enemies!
Yesterday, I came to reach a 3-Step deeper connection to these tears I've shed…That is why I share this story with you.
1) I came to realize I'm in the next phase of accepting that which is beyond my control and quite natural to experience as a human being--physical change. This awareness brought me closer to grieving briefly (a necessary function of overall good health), without guilt, and unnecessary ongoing miserable belief that I have to love what I see in the mirror as a path to acceptance.
2) Upon reflection, I was reminded of how much I've come to appreciate my spiritual studies and ongoing choice to learn through personal development. You see, a quote was put in front of me while listening to Deepak Chopra the day before I balled my eyes out over my sagging jowls and wrinkled forehead. At the time, I jotted it into my notebook. I didn't know it would come to help me accept my face as it is in a much healthier way. His quote was, "Your body is a process, and the word process is a verb, not a thing; a thing is a noun." When you reflect upon what seems to be the most common sense statement, you can come out with a strong awareness and transformation.
You see, we're all about 'process' over perfection here at Polished Imperfection to experience an authentic transformative change in the physical, mental, and spiritual areas of life. If I can remind myself that my body is a process in motion and not a stagnant thing that never changes, I transform my relationship with the body to mean that it deserves some active grieving and healthy attention. I don't have to be ashamed to feel grief just because it isn't someone else's struggle, and I don't have to feel pressured to hide my wrinkles.
3) Finally, I've learned that it's okay to not agree with a must that I love my wrinkles as some positive beauty mark of a life well-lived. My truth is, I don't like what I see staring back some days. It's also my truth that I can finally bring myself to a point where I'm permitting myself to grieve while I learn to accept the permanence of things.
When it comes to our changing bodies, I believe it's okay to cry and not be happy with our reflections. When we force ourselves to go against how we're truly feeling, it can become an unnecessary and miserable struggle to adjust. If we are not living into our authentic feelings and learning to process them, we are merely fighting a losing battle. Usually, it's a battle designed by others who have convinced us we must love every inch of ourselves. I don't view that kind of thinking as an act of self-love. I consider it a manufactured living. I believe we get in trouble when we don't learn to grieve appropriately to reach a healthy acceptance phase. Like the death of a loved one, a transition has taken place. We certainly never grow to love the fact that people are permanently gone from our lives. And as with any death, it's okay to cry! We can reach a level of healthy acceptance without guilt, manipulation, or stone faces. We can, once and for all, live into our authentic selves!
Are you having body image struggles? Let us know! We'd love to hear your story. It takes courage to admit insecurities. We applaud you in advance for taking this next step! To share your story join our private Facebook group!