Confidence isn’t what occurs after a haircut, manicure, purchasing new clothes. Those things are transitory and chewed up within a day of receipt. It cant be bought, and doesn’t depend on weight, nor a makeover. To have any lasting value, it must stem from within. If you don’t have it, that’s okay. A clean slate can easily have beautifully-scripted writing imbued on its surface. Make a list of all you value about yourself. Doesn’t matter what it is. Look at the positive qualities you radiate each day and all the great things you do, rather than the stuff-ups. When I see a confident person, I am mesmerized. It’s in the way they walk, the projection of their voice, the way they look you in the eyes. You can tell this person feels at ease within themselves and thus you relax too. They have a way of being. Every day, think about how valued you are, and the wondrous ripples you send out to us all. You are valued and treasured and this world would just not be the same without you. You can have complete confidence in that!
I am great at my job because I love it! I have always loved reading and writing stories. I had my own newsletter called ‘The Weekly Mag’ when I was little. The subjects I chose to focus on were the environment and animals. I printed copies and distributed it for a donation, which I would give to charities. Hearing people’s stories is a privilege, and relaying them is a big responsibility. I believe that we need to table our stories, and share with each other. We garner strength and courage by doing so. I relayed on this blog a while back, the time I met a schoolteacher after my second spinal operation. I was sixteen years of age, about to endure the committal hearing, and had a lot on my plate. I feared I may topple. This lady wrote her story down for me, and as she sat with me, my eyes grew wide with wonder. She was also very young when she had been subjected to an horrendous act. She had endured the court proceedings too. She told me this as a woman in her thirties, with a beautiful life. At that moment, I could see myself surviving, as she had. What a gift she gave me. If I can do the same, then my life has been blessed. It is hard to open oneself up, and become vulnerable, but the alternative is far worse. What would the point be of all that you have learnt, been through and accomplished? We are each other’s beacon’s. I love writing, and am blessed to be able to do it consistently. Find what makes your heart sing, and do that thing!
When I look in the mirror, I see…
A strong woman, and an impudent child. I look into my eyes and affirm, “look love, I know you haven’t had much rest. I know all about your pain. You can do today, you can! I will talk you through the steps, and even estimate how many hours it shall be before you get to have blessed rest. Remember how good it feels to lay down after a productive day? You can do this! You can!” That is the first thing I do every morning when looking in the mirror. I refuse to pay mind to creases and sags and wrinkles and pimples. If I wanted that sort of attention to detail, I would be sitting beneath either a cosmetician’s or plastic surgeon’s microscopic mirror. The eyes, and the smile, that is all that matters. As long as they are set for the day, the rest can be discounted. I pat a little jojoba or rosehip oil onto my visage, and off I go. I first saw my daughter studying her face in the mirror at six. Really studying it, as though they were becoming acquainted for the first time. I have her art and pretty hairbands and clips arranged around the rectangular bathroom mirror. I believe it is time to put up some affirmations too. I have practiced a lot of self-loathing in my time. I have starved myself and binged. When I was underweight, my parents said nothing. Scars and a rotund tummy were commented on, after weeks in bed after surgery. The state of my being after exiting a body cast. The puffiness of my face after steroid injections. Was I going to join the critique and wound myself further? No! I decided the most rebellious thing I could do was to discount the commentary, and certainly not join in. I have loved myself with stitches in my face, with black eyes, teeth that have fallen out due to medications, a body that gained a few stone and a body that became a puffer-fish. I decided that I had to love it all, or I wasn’t practicing self-love, rather conditional approval. It is tough and uncomfortable to look into your eyes at first. To say kind things to yourself. It won’t feel natural. I promise you, that if you keep doing it, it will become a ritual, performed without thinking. It helps to seal the wounds this world inflicts upon us. This world has enough critics. Become an encourager, and start with yourself!
I was always referred to as an eccentric kid, who danced to the beat of her own drum. Group games and sports never interested me, and I was in fact scared of groups of people. I kept my own counsel, and observed. I loved the fringe-dwellers at school, those who also danced to their own music. I was welcomed to join the “crowd,” though never felt the need to. There were times when friendships ran hot and cold, and someone wouldn’t be my friend anymore after not doing what they commanded. It mystified and hurt me. By the time I was fourteen, I was a loved member of a friendship group I found on the streets. They were from different schools, though all had damaged homes. They were mother hens to this troubled chick, making sure I ate, and that I felt loved. When I was taken to the clinic, I lost my support base. I knew nobody, and was very alone. It didn’t take long for friendships to come into my sphere again. In a clinic, the façade of “the crowd” has been stripped away and there is a rawness that is as exquisite as it is confronting. No fake smiles or small talk. Straight into why you want to die, and what will make living bearable for you. Holding a friend’s bowl, whilst she dry-retches and sponging her forehead. Holding a wounded girl in your arms whilst she sobs. The sort of emotional intimacy it would take years to build up, is accomplished in five minutes. I hated this place, though I loved the people. My friends didn’t just break into pieces one day. It took years of chiselling and whittling to provide the circumstances in which they happened to be admitted. They tried to spare me my fate. They could see it happening, could see him circling. They would have done anything. They tried.
After several months in hospital, I went home after the fall. I had no friends, for my peers had gotten on with their lives and I had been forever changed. The next three years were spent doing correspondence school, seeing doctors and police officers. It was a strange existence, though one I am grateful for. When one isn’t exposed to a myriad of people each day, one gets to know oneself intimately. The downside was that when I went out into the world at eighteen, I thought everybody was lovely and had good intent. Some didn’t. Some wanted to use me, drain me, wound me. I had to learn to protect my heart whilst collecting friendships. When one comes across a forever friend, you know you have found a treasure. No need to hide. Love and support are offered in abundance. I love all my friendships, and wish I could see these dear people on a daily basis. I try to catch up whenever I can. When one has known profound loneliness and isolation, it makes you appreciate your companions all the more. Each is a gossamer thread in the tapestry of my life, contributing detail. I try to be a good friend, and when their heart’s break, mine does too. My dearest wish is that they all know how loved and treasured they are. It has taken a long while to find them all, but now that I have, I feel humbled. You cant orchestrate the natural coming together of individuals. Part of the joy is seeing it unravel over time. I love you all, my friends. All unique; the dreamers, artists, writers, doers of good. You have sustained me, and helped tie the loose ends of my life into a beautiful bow. I will try and be worthy of your kindness.
The prompt from the gorgeous http://anastasiaamour.com/projectpositive/ today is the body. Where do I start?! I was drugged as a child, and walked around in a soporific film of chemicals. Joy and anger were equally blunted. I almost died at thirteen from my seizures. This body is so marvellous that when I woke from my coma, […]
My beautiful friend Anastasia, over at http://anastasiaamour.com/projectpositive/ has a wondrous venture, called #Project Positive! Each day during September, there will be a prompt, Today it is the face. I love my face because it is capable of smiling and the skin around my eyes is capable of creasing when I break into a wide grin. That is remarkable. My face has been bruised and punched; my lips have been split open, as has my head. My face has healed and restored, and is capable of fronting up, and facing this world. A few years ago, this face had extensive plastic surgery for removal of tumours.
There was a chance that the nerves may be partially paralysed. I was not concerned. My little girl was unafraid, for she saw her mother’s spirit peeking out of those swollen eyes. I was under twilight sedation during surgery, and had extraordinary epiphanies, which I needed to bang on about. I was warned that unless I shut up, I would have to be knocked out cold, as the surgeon was trying to do a flap repair near my mouth. I didn’t stop talking, so was indeed knocked out cold! I love this cheeky, impudent face. Splashing it with cold water each morning, feeling winter’s frost and a Sydney summer upon it’s skin. I love that when my face was battered and bruised, my child looked into my eyes, and said “oh, there you are.”