This image above is how I sometimes feel. Like yesterday. It hit me hard.
She's in there. That little girl. 5th grade. I had a party. I remember being afraid no one would come. The insecurity of that age was palpable. It permeated everything. It felt horrible. Between that age and middle school (another horrible time for young girls) I was consumed with self-contempt. I sometimes even thought about "not being here" which is a soft way of referring to suicide. Those feelings of insecurity can revisit from time to time. The hunger to be liked.
She does still live in here after all. I am ashamed to say when that happens, when I feel those insecurities rise up like a tsunami and engulf me, I feel embarrassed. Awkward. Ugly. I feel ashamed of that "weakness". As much as I love Brené Brown and all she teaches, if I am honest, I do think of those insecurities as weakness. I even have people in my life who say they hate that aspect of me. I do too ... But here's the thing. I don't want to hate her. I mean, look at her! How can I hate her? She is doing the best she can, and when she feels ugly and unwanted and not-enough, it's no fault of her own. She was programmed that way. She has to fight tooth and nail to rail against it! In the photo above, she has her hands over her ears as if keeping something out. But in reality we all know where that critical voice lies (pun intended). We all know the brutality of those voices and they do not come from without. They come from within.
What I really want, and what I sometimes experience, is to love myself fiercely. I mean think about it. What would it look like to love yourself fiercely? I have felt some measure of that in my adult life. It is astounding. It goes against all the bullshit cultural patriarchal programming.
When I am in that feeling space, my body posture is SOOOOOO different. It is relaxed and confident. Have you ever done a Google search of confident woman posture? You should see the bullshit that comes up. Some of it even sexual, because women are objectified in this world. And aren't we here for the male gaze? We are called to be attractive and desirable for them. The rest of the search is corporate bullshit. Almost every photo is a young slender white woman in a suit or some shit. With her hair in a pony tail. You know the look. Finally, I chose the photo below. Even though she is in heels (don't even get me started on that ridiculous design I am convinced was imagined by a man) and we can't see all of her, I love how relaxed her legs look. To me it says, "I'm chillin. Not here for you. Just feelin' good in my woman-ness". I like that, and I like the quote. I believe it is true, and I sure want me some of that. There are those days, more often now that I am older, when I feel that way. When I spend way more energy on myself and feeling good than on managing the feelings and thoughts of others and what they may or may not think of me. That is a futile and ridiculous energy suck anyway. As Arya says to Death in GOT, "Not today!"