They are also a complete and utter waste of time.
For years...years I have convinced myself that my being single was in direct correlation with my weight, which I'm not thrilled about. I thought "well if I was thinner/more toned/completely flawless then I would have the perfect relationship." I thought that if I could just have the "perfect" body then everything else would fall right into place. I was also convinced that anytime a relationship didn't work out, or a guy didn't call me, it was because I didn't look right - I didn't fit the mold.
Basically, I figured I was too fat to love.
That was hard to type. It's hard to say it out loud. It is so much worse to feel it, think it and believe it. I didn't think I was worthy of love, respect, or a good partner. I don't often write about this side of me, because it isn't the main side. Please bear in mind this isn't an issue of having low self-esteem. In fact, I like most things about me. There were times, however, when I felt like I hadn't "found" anyone because only perfect people deserve love.
I kicked the habit of self-loathing because, quite frankly, it isn't a cute look on me.
Okay, I lied. I haven't kicked the habit completely - I still feel really bad about myself sometimes.
There have been enough studies and reports to know that ultra-thin models, advertising, TV shows, movies, billboards and porn have created an un-healthy image of women and sexuality. Intellectually I know that these images are:
Emotionally, however, I have a completely different idea about these images. Emotionally, when I see these images I buy into the notion that I am not tall enough, not toned enough, not flexible enough and most importantly, not thin enough. I know better; I know these images are airbrushed and modified using Photoshop, but I can't help but think "man, there is something wrong with me!" every time I see them.
- Detrimental to my self-image
This isn't a plea for help. Please don't comment with affirmations because while I know you mean well, I'm not writing this to hear I'm beautiful or perfect just the way I am or that the right one will love me for me, regardless of how I'm built. I know those things, but there are also the demons that live inside of us that tell us we're not enough. That little voice that says "you can't find anyone because you're not _____________ enough!" We all have them - we all battle them. Maybe it's that we think we're not good looking enough, or we think we aren't worthy of good because we have made mistakes in the past. Maybe we think we're not rich enough or smart enough, or we think we're just un-lucky and always will be. We listen to these demons because they sound so convincing. When relationships don't work out, we wonder why and the demon is always right there with an answer - and it's usually the wrong answer, but we listen anyway. I have spent years letting that demon have my ear, believing what it had to say and buying into whatever hateful notions it was selling me.
Consider this an exorcism.
I am _________ enough. So are you. When relationships don't work out, it's because it wasn't my relationship, he wasn't my person. I've wasted so many years wondering what was wrong with me only to realize there is nothing wrong with me, and truth is, there is nothing wrong with him. Sure, there are wrong circumstances and wrong timing, and there are behaviors that are wrong, but at the very core of who we are, we are just fine. We just have to be willing to tap into that core and know that we are enough.
When I think about getting into a new relationship, which includes eventually getting naked in front of him, I get pretty nervous. Not only is there the anxiety of preparation - there's shaving my legs and ex-foliating and foot scrubs and all those other things that I'm not sure he'll even notice but make me feel better - but there's also the anxiety of, well, being naked. The vulnerability and intimacy that comes from being naked is a vague memory for me, mainly because it's been a really long time since I've let myself be vulnerable - naked or otherwise.
I'm confident, however, that when it happens, the demon won't be invited into bed with us.
Next time: Santa Claus...the Easter Bunny...Soul Mates