”I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:
I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.
Your armor is preventing you from unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.” —Brene Brown
I wasn’t sure where to begin, so I let Brene Brown start things off today. This passage has been swirling around in my head for a while, which indicates to me that it’s worth sharing.
My armor is many layered, as with most of us. For me weight is by far the most effective piece of armor I’ve had. Extra pounds can provide a real sense of “safety ” for sexual assault victims. I know that I’m not going to be catcalled much anymore when I go for a walk, or followed around while I’m grocery shopping by some jerk wanting my number, or get lots of unwanted attention at the pub or any social gathering. I remember Rosie O’Donnel talking about her weight as it relates to sexual assault on her show way back in the day. It was then that I saw it was also true for me.
To paraphrase, Rosie had been on a diet and had lost a significant amount of weight. She was at the gas station and two guys were flirting pretty heavily with her. She was surprised by the attention as she wasn’t used to it. But she said she didn’t feel a negative emotional response and was even a little sheepish about it. But, as soon as she was done pumping gas, she bought a pint of ice cream and ate it on the spot!
This is a reminder to myself that I am no longer in need of that type of armor; I can let it go. It’s also telling me that I’m more than the package I’m wrapped in. I can love myself and think I’m pretty damn cute, just as I am. My self image must not be dictated by what the scales say. Shedding the unnecessary pounds will be a journey. I need to stop shaming myself today!
Until very recently, I hated having my picture taken, I couldn’t stand to look at them. This started when I began to really gain the weight. No more! Here’s some pics I can now look at and say, “Wow, she’s cute!”🤗