What would it make possible?
Last week, I posed the question on social media: “What would it make possible if you stopped obsessing over/feeling bad about your body or how you show up in the world?”
I’ve been noticing an increased level of negative self-talk and body-consciousness lately among friends and clients… maybe it’s the improved sunny weather and women are overthinking how they will look in a bathing suit.. maybe you’re like me and have been watching way too much Real Housewives (my husband always says he doesn’t understand how I can watch it… in a weird way, it reminds me of the ridiculous drama possible and keeps me grounded)…
But, if we aren’t careful, and aware of our external influences, and how it impacts our thinking and feeling about ourselves, those even seemingly tiny thoughts and comments can gnaw and chip away over time, leaving us stripped bare of who WE are with nothing left but self-doubt.
So, I want to know: if you stopped feeling self-conscious, obsessing over your body, feeling bad about something, what would it make possible to you?
Likely, you’ve already walked this journey to some degree, and have proof of the magic that becomes possible when you experience self-love and letting go… And if you’re like me, there’s still more room for more growth… More goddess woman to be unleashed and more magic to be unlocked. ?
When you think back to the years of your youth, what are the first few negative thoughts or associations you had about yourself?
For me, 3 thoughts clearly come to mind:
- Having freckles
- My last name, Swenor, rhymed with weiner
- Heading into teen years: having large breasts
And here’s what’s interesting about this, none of those things affected or bothered me until I was impacted by outside influences. These negative thoughts didn’t come from ME, they were implanted by others, therefore, I have the power and duty to root them out, these negative thoughts are NOT native to me. If you’ve had a similar experience, then you, too, are carrying around a truth that is not yours. Here at Impact Academy, my mission is to guide you in your quest for YOUR truth, so we may have some uprooting to do…
I remember being an outgoing, happy, free kid for the first few years of life, and at some point, I was made to believe the lie that freckles were ugly. I vaguely remember seeing a TV show with a kid getting teased for freckles, I didn’t understand why, but it taught me that it was my lot in life, I would be teased for freckles too because they were “ugly” and “gross.”
My name: is there anything more personal than a name? My last name was/is Swenor. It was a bit traumatic being told at 6 and 7 years old, “Amber Swenor Weiner has a weiner.” At first, I didn’t know what a “weiner “ was… then, when I figured it out, I wondered why kids said I had one because, clearly, I knew I didn’t. Third, about half the population has one, so why was it so bad?
Kids reasoning is so weird.
But, it left an impression: It made me feel embarrassed about who I WAS. And for me, being a person whose everything in life is so deeply connected to how I FEEL, over the years, my soul continued to be cut away by the daggers and knives of unkind comments…
And thirdly, I had big breasts. Big ole boobs. I’m talking 34FFF and the only place at the time to find a bra that fit was by ordering expensive bras from overseas.
Now that I’ve matured into a confident woman, and made the choice to undergo a breast reduction to improve my quality of life, I can look back and glimpse over those teenage/early 20’s years of my life as a drop in the bucket, but…. when I pause, and really GO back there, I am reminded about the time and energy that was taken from me, because of other people’s inappropriate judgments and comments…
A few vivid memories: One of my best friend’s introducing me as, “This is my friend Amber with the big boobs.” Talk about being reduced to “nothing” but fatty lumps…
A high school sports coach making a hand “juggling” movement in an attempt to tease me about the bounciness of my boobs… This was after wearing 1 sports bra and 2 tight tank tops to “hold them down.” I was mortified, and from there forward had half my head in the game, as the other half was focused on, “are my boobs too bouncy as I try to make this play?”
But the one that really takes the cake? One of my first waitressing jobs…..
Remember the store that was popular in malls across America in the late 90’s/early 2000’s called, The Deb? As a teen, I liked to shop there and buy pleather pants and platform shoes. They had creative and unique clothing, within my teenage girl budget…. But, I was also aware that if I was “to be taken seriously,” I had to dress differently, especially in certain “professional” environments, so I aimed to dress professionally for my waitressing job!
I remember it clearly, the button up, blue polyester shirt that I bought to wear to work. I didn’t mind that one because at least it had a little shape and helped me to feel a little more feminine versus the baggy oversized, white button up shirts that are reserved for 50 year old men and teenage girls with big boobs that nobody knows what to do with, so they dress their teens in, baggy oversized white button up shirts.
This waitressing job was really important to me and I wanted to look nice. It was a family-run restaurant run by a woman and her daughters in their early 20’s and a teenage son, close to my age. I went in one day and pitched my case about the type of worker I was, and earned a job: doing everything, most waitressing, but everything. I even cleaned some disgusting things in that truck stop restroom that refuse to leave my mind…
I took my job seriously. We all split tips. I was positive, energetic, with a great memory so I could remember orders. After one of my first few shifts, I remember the owner and the daughter recounting the tip bucket and the till twice. They asked me, “Are you sure you didn’t accidentally take money from someone’s bill and put it in the tip bucket?”
Nope. The register total matched the receipt tickets, the proof was there. They were surprised how good the tips were when I was on a shift with them. But I knew that I enjoyed my job, I got them their correct orders, and brightened people’s days, and because of that, they tipped better!
A few months into the job, for some reason or another, the usually crabby owner was extra crabby and mean. Looking back, it’s horrifying to reflect on how she treated me, and that I accepted it.
On this particular day I was working with her son, same age as me. He wasn’t as gifted in the waiting tables department.. In fact, he really wasn’t good for the job. He always seemed grumpy like his mother, and rarely re-filled their drinks. When “regulars” would come in, they’d often whisper to me, “Can I request you to wait on my table?” It was a touchy subject as he was the owner’s son….
On this day, the son made a mistake with entering the wrong order. We were busy, the owner was stressed, she lashed out on me and proceeded to tell me, “He wouldn’t be so distracted if you weren’t dressed like a slut.”
I was wearing a button up blue blouse with black dress pants. I was 15. I was often complimented on how nice I looked. The only way I could have been dressed any less slutty was to literally be wearing an oversized trash bag.
And, I was mortified. Horrified. Embarrassed. Body-shamed.
This moment #1001 of who knows how many moments where I was misjudged and mistreated because of my large breasts.
I felt my heart sink through the floor. I was so self-conscious. So embarrassed. So confused. I looked down at how I was dressed; I remember specifically buying that shirt for this waitressing job so that I would look “professional and nice.”
Ironically, this was the first day my parents popped in for lunch, to see me at work, to surprise me. They arrived about 20 minutes after the “slut” incident. My mom could tell something was wrong. She asked and I told her what happened. I was afraid of losing my job. My mom was horrified by how I was treated. I saw her searching inside herself for the answer on how to handle the situation. She sat with dad, anxious, about 20 minutes later she said, “you have to quit.” She was right.
I finished waiting tables, mopped the floors. I even went and cleaned the bathrooms, and then let them know I quit, still with fear about where I’d find another job as options were slim in a rural area….
Wow, how far I’ve come since then. And if you’re following along and reflecting through your own past experiences, I imagine you are saying the same thing to yourself, “look how far I’ve come… how strong I am.”
If anyone ever speaks to me in such a manner ever again, you can count on one thing: I won’t be finishing my shift and I certainly won’t be cleaning their nasty ass bathrooms!
This gets us to our exercise
Think back to the years of your youth. What are the first two-four negative thoughts or associations you had with yourself?
Write that down.
Look at your short list of early negative memories of yourself.
Now, write out how you feel about each of those memories, and how they relate to your self-view, today.
My hope for you is that you have dispelled some of those early, negative thoughts. My hope is that you have PROOF in front of you of how far you have come how you have evolved, and how you have overcome the falsehoods that were not your native self-story. It IS possible to release the false stories that were taught to us. They are NOT native to how we desire to see ourselves.
If you still believe the negative thoughts, let’s explore that:
- Why do you believe that?
- List your Concrete reasons
- What proof do you have that the belief is TRUE?
- Whatever you just wrote down, what makes that TRUE?
- by doing this and really following your train of thought, it will likely reveal that the belief is NOT true
- Whatever you just wrote down, what makes that TRUE?
- What is driving this belief?
- Could it be true that the belief is rooted in falsehood?
- Or, let’s say the belief behind the negative thought is true, can you find a way reframe it to a positive thought of gratitude? For example: “I don’t like my nose because it’s big. I think it’s ugly. Kids have told me so.”
- How about reframing: “I don’t love my big nose, however, I am grateful for the ability to smell and breathe. I am grateful to have a complete face. I am grateful to have my senses. My nose serves me.” As a child, you were free to be; you didn’t dislike things about yourself until society made you think otherwise… this is about letting go of truths that are NOT yours to hold onto.
- Ask yourself, just how much energy/time are you wasting by thinking this way?
- What would it make available, possible, to you to shift your thought, or to, simply not give it any thought at all any longer?
Commit to loving yourself.
Your thoughts are powerful.
Your words are powerful.
The next time you are about to utter, “My thighs look fat in that picture,” … “I’m fat,” … “I look bad in a bathing suit,” … “I…”…….
“I’m grateful to have healthy legs to carry me around.”
“I’m grateful to have access to nutritious food.”
“I’m the goddess I am meant to be. My partner/kids/friends love me. I love me.”
“Loving me, starts with me. I am capable of loving myself.”
“Something I love about myself today, is….”
Tell me, What does it make possible when you stop obsessing over the things you don’t like about yourself, and instead, start loving?
I’d love to hear from you!