I REALLY ASKED THAT QUESTION!
With my hiatus I took the time to ask the question we all fear the answer to.
I wanted to know what people really thought of me physically.
I asked my toughest critics. I went to those closest to me. These are the people I know who will be honest with me no matter what. The ones who I know accept me no matter what, but who I want their approval from. The ones who I hope only see me as perfect, and yet I know they don’t, that is why I love them.
I asked 5 questions, all of which I answered myself first.
1. What was your first impression of me when we first met?
2. What is the first thing you notice about me when I enter a room now?
3. How would you describe me physically?
4. What is my biggest flaw physically?
5. What is my biggest attribute physically?
It is question four that I was really curious about. This is also the one that I was most scared of.
My theory when I set out to do this was that we beat ourselves up way more than our toughest critics. I was convinced that no matter how horribly I saw myself that others would see me kinder, maybe not kind, but kinder.
I WAS WRONG! I DISCOVERED WAY MORE
Taking the tone and emotional baggage out of actual words is freeing
First I tried to imagine what everyone would say. I believed all the things that we as women say about ourselves, especially that I thought everyone’s first descriptor and answer to question four would be FAT. At first I heard the answers in my worst critic’s voice, the one that hurts to the bone. Then I forced myself to put it in each person’s voice. Many of these were still hurtful in their voice. Finally I tried to put it in no voice, just a factual statement. You are fat=the pen is blue. I found when I took the emotion out of it it was no big deal. Like I didn’t know I was fat? I mean that is why I am here and writing this blog. It’s no big surprise. I don’t mind that the world knows. Again I write about it, and of course I go out into the world. By looking at the word as a word, and not as underlying emotions, I was prepared to take on my critics.
What my answers said about me
I am really mean to myself. I really went for the jugular. I mean if I can’t who would, right? I should be honest with myself, and not hide. I realized after this whole experiment was over this thinking is so WRONG! We should be kind to ourselves. We should cut ourselves a break. Who would, if I wouldn’t? We are way too harsh on ourselves. I went for a walk yesterday and beat myself up because it wasn’t a run. Instead I should have been proud that it was a walk, instead of watching tv. It’s time we are nicer to ourselves.
And the biggest thing I learned from all of this:
NO ONE CARES!
I mean this in the nicest, kindest, best, most motivating way possible. I asked those closest to me, those that support me through thick and thin. I thought the answers would be flooding in. Nope. I got only four emails back, and one verbal. Of those emails two just didn’t answer. They started too, and then veered off into other subjects. So my friends and family were supportive of me and tried, but their life got in the way of mine- as it should. My fears of what they thought of me, was way down on their priority list. My new theory to this is that they don’t sit around and think about me physically. When I walk into a room, they don’t think “here comes the fat girl” nor do they think “here comes the girl with the big smile” they just think here comes Brooklyn. So if they are not spending their time thinking about me, why am I spending my time thinking about what they might be thinking of me. So I’m going to stop thinking about it.
And for the record the worst things I did hear about myself from the answers I got:
- My feet are ugly. (They really, really are. Better my feet than my face)
- We all could stand to be a bit taller. (At 5’2” I wouldn’t mind being able to reach the top of my cabinets)
I’m so glad I asked the question. Now I’m going to let it go, and stop letting it take up space and quit worrying. I’m going to be kinder to myself, and cut myself that break. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. I asked a tough question and expected boogie man answers and instead got rainbows and glitter.