Do you ever have weeks where you're extra critical on yourself?
Maybe you're more judgmental of your physical appearances, work ethic, the quality of your creativity, or the space you inhabit? For some reason you just can't stop zooming in on the sunspot that decided to blossom on your cheek, the lack of drive you feel at work, your inability to get your shit together, or how you haven't yet organized your home to resemble a Pinterest photo.
I always find it so interesting how most days resemble the same schedule, yet how different each day can be. I was looking through old photos and videos last night and noticed how carefree I looked in most memories. I had the largest grin, my eyes were wide and curious, and I exuded ease and confidence.
For some reason, I didn't quite identify with that girl last night. For the past few weeks I've gone down a rabbit hole of worrying about things I never thought about prior. I don't know if it's because I'm in my thirties now, if it's a cultural thing, or if I've absorbed too much commentary from other women my age, but I've become so focused on any possible sign on aging on my face. After I wash my face, I look into my tiny magnified mirror to examine any newly born wrinkles or possible crow's feet by my eyes. (By the way, who created that term? It's awful!)
I NEVER used to be like this! And the funny thing is, as I was looking through former versions of myself in my phone's photos, I noticed sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and scarring from acne I had in high school, that I didn't even notice I had at the time. They've only stepped into the spotlight recently as I've allowed it to become one of my defining traits.
How could it be that I've always had these "flaws" on my skin, but am only noticing them now? How was I not worrying about them before?
Now translate this concept into any area of your life - specifically the things that you complain about. At one point in time, were you okay with these triggers or possibly not even aware that they were there? If you were okay with them or didn't know of their existence, why is that? What else were you concentrating on that took your focus?
The girl who had her hair down and emitted laughter and well-being is still me, but I've dimmed her light by giving into our culture's obsession with perfection. What is perfection anyway? Does it even exist?
Why am I trying to attain some level of unflawed beauty then? Why do I wish to live my life through filters and only praise the version of myself that has untouched skin, bigger eyes, longer lashes, and whiter teeth?
None of it is even real.
The peppered freckles beneath my green irises from laying in the sun on warm summer days.
The creases that deepen at the edges of my eyes from laughing so hard that I cry.
The wrinkles like lines on a map across my forehead from smiling most of my life.
The hyperpigmentation from an early breakout that when finally cleared, made me feel brand new.
The "flaws" are not flaws, they are and can be the result of a life story - of a life well lived.
The only difference between the girl with her head thrown back and a smile lit across her face and who I am now is my choice of perception. I can still choose to illuminate my daily doings and focus on the joy my life brings, or I can continue to worry about superficial matters born solely out of my own will.
I choose the life story; the beauty that blossoms from a life fully lived; the mindset geared toward presence rather than worry; and the emotions rather than the appearances.
Our emotions create the appearances anyway, right? Our experiences are shaped by the emotions we bring into each new moment.
What emotions are you bringing into your life experience today?