Thursday, January 29, 2009

This is not a metaphor

I woke up this morning, dragged myself into the bathroom and turned on the light. My immediate reaction, when I looked in the mirror, filled me with joy. I said (out loud, mind you), "Hey! I'm pretty!" and hugged myself. Then I froze and looked at myself again. There I stood, arms wrapped around myself, an embrace inspired by my own perceived cuteness. "What am I, three years old?" I asked myself.

You see, my darlings, with all of this self-help I'm going through I'm a little worried about how weird and over the top New Agey I could get. April lent me a book on CD called "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay, a woman who survived severe child abuse and poverty, and then went beyond surviving to thriving like a one of those house plants that starts off small and then blooms like mad, with Audrey Two-like vines draping out of the pot and onto the floor. I jived with most of what ole Louise had to say, you know, all the thinking positively stuff, and how if you tell yourself that you deserve nothing then you're likely to get nothing. But there were times I felt that Louise went slightly off the deep end. She was talking about her body and accepting it the way it is - stretch marks, blemishes, wrinkles and everything. All very cool. She would say, "I love my face!" and I thought, "I love your face too, Louise! You rock!" And then she said (and I don't remember the exact quote except for the last four words), "Every part of my body serves me and I love it and respect it. Even my anus. I love my anus!" This is where I felt that our paths split. I feel that I can become a healthy, confident person without giving my anus the time of day. It will go it's way and I will go mine. Does it have a function? Sure. And I respect that. Will I annouce our love to the world? No.

But what if I eventually do? What if I become like some of the people I meet at Wild Lotus who talk constantly about "the universe." Don't get me wrong, I dig the universe. I acknowledge that I am part of it, and I even dig on karma. But I have this fear in the back of my mind that in about ten years I'm going to do something bizarre like change my name to Lilypad Lovinfields and teach a children's yoga class where I also play the lute.

"And now children," I'll say, as I strum. "We're going to learn to chant! Say it with me, "OooooommmmIlovemyanusooooooooooommmmm."

Am I playing on stereotypes just a wee bit? Perhaps. But everyone I know has a fear of becoming some sort of stereotype, and it's high time that I admit that, yes, I'm afraid of becoming weirder than I already am. And why am I afraid of it, you ask? Sigh. Because I worry about what people think of me just a tad much. I think it's healthy to have a little dose of this. It's why I don't do things like expel gas in public. I know a few people like this and I wish that they would worry about what I think just enough to stop, or go to another room.

I will say one thing, though, and if I sound all cheesy and New Agey then so be it. There's a serendipitous quality to all of the messages I'm getting lately. Yoga, Al-anon, therapy, and believe it or not FLY Lady (a website I visit that helps chicks like me get their houses organized) have all been saying the same things. They all tell me to love myself the way I am. When I first joined FLY Lday I didn't know that FLY stood for "Finally Loving Yourself." I thought, "Wait, I just want you to teach me how to keep my house clean so that I'm not embarassed when people come over." But it turns out that it's so much more! The first thing FLY Lady tells you to do is shine your sink, and then make sure when you wake up every morning to get fully dressed and wash your face. In essence, to take care of myself first thing.

FLY Lady sends me motherly reminders each day, and the one from the other day was so fitting it was creepy. She said this, "Each one of us has a light that shines. Some of our lights have been shaded by those negative words we have heard all our lives. We have to remove that shroud of sadness that has dimmed our lights and let our light shine! Let me start this process by reminding you that our parents did all they knew to do! Their little lights were dimmed too. We begin this process with forgiveness. Forgive them because they did not know what they were doing...Now go shine your sink! This is not a metaphor! Take this action and see that little ray of hope for yourself! Your shiny sink is just the beginning! Let your light shine and see the beauty that is you!"

Keep in mind, I originally joined this site to learn how to keep my house clean. So, like, the universe (insert a vision of me with my eyes all wide and trippy cosmic-like) is telling me in every possible way to love myself. Duuuuuuuuuuude! I must totally obey.

I'm off to make silly faces at myself in the mirror. Am I acting like a three year old? Yes. And I love it (insert a vision of me blowing a raspberry).


melissa bastian. said...

I'm totally pro face making - at myself, at others, at inanimate objects; face making in general is near the top of my list of "things what should be done regularly". I'm not so sure about anus communing - I'm not convinced that it's a necessary part of self-love. But hey, if that's where the road leads you, so be it.

On the theme of forgiving... this is something that comes up a lot for those of us who have been hurt by people who were supposed to care for us. I'll just say this: forgiving is not the same as saying that what a person did is OK.

So, if you get bored of making faces, I highly suggest starting to decorate your home with googly eyes - just a thought.

Christy said...

This one made me smile. :)

Tom said...

I'm with Melissa here, and since I've started to think of everyone who has tattoos as slightly more hip or knowledgeable than myself, she's getting extra credit for reasons I can't fully explain.

Forgiving ones self and giving positive, self-affirming messages is some powerful shizzle. I'm all behind that. Uh - I didn't mean "behind" like...oh, forget it.

Genevieve said...

Tattooed people are generally more enlightened. Tom, I dare you to get a tattoo of Kevin sniffing a potted plant.