Being self-confident is hard.
I grew up in a culture that treated
Women’s bodies as objects.
Objects of men’s desires;
Objects in need of change:
Change in size,
Change to be fashionable
and contort my body to fit into current trends.
Women’s bodies were objects
That had to be managed
In how we moved,
How we behaved,
How we led our lives
And presented ourselves
To the outside world,
And how we treated our bodies
In private when no one was looking.
It is hard to be self-confident
When society bombards you
With messages that you are not enough,
You are falling short and failing
To an unrealistic standard.
(And who set up this system to begin with?)
I find my self-confidence gets easier the older I get.
Life experience and the inherent lessons that come with age
have taught me that acceptance is present and available
Only I hold the key to what is possible.
My reflection in the mirror is unique.
It is mine alone.
And I choose to love who I see in the mirror.
I choose to remind myself that
these negative messages
do not reflect who I truly am.
I choose love.
Today and this day forward,
I choose to treat my mind, body and spirit
With gentle, loving acceptance.
The clear, cool barrier
Protects me from the outside world.
It provides shelter with a view.
The glass is hard on the knuckles.
But like all things,
It has a limit to what it can hold.
The barrier can be broken
With enough external force.
The window will not crack on its own.
Even a glass pan can withstand
Hundreds of degrees of heat.
Only when it contacts the opposite --
The abrupt and sudden cold -- will it shatter.
Glass is an insulator.
It holds heat and cold.
It cannot exist in both extremes simultaneously.
Yet, each day I find myself
In a pendulum swing between the two.
But I have not cracked.
Through mindfulness and peaceful presence,
I am aware of the extremes before I’m swept away.
I find my footing and breathe.
I am not as fragile as I used to be.
I am not trapped by the glass.
It is a tool at my disposal.
I reflect on the lessons
And remember I can open the window.
I can open the door and let the heat escape
Before it boils over.
The window may be a barrier,
But the view is all mine.
A single candle illuminates the window.
The darkened pane dazzles in the light.
What is behind the darkness?
Ever mysterious and profound.
I imagine what lies out of sight.
Whose lives dream and weep
Behind the darkened window?
The truth does not matter.
I am inspired for having dreamed a little.
The imagined lives outside myself
have lit an internal spark.
An inspiration of what it means
And I reflect on my own full life.
Time to pursue my creativity;
Too many distractions and obligations
That eat away my energy.
And then when it's a good time
to do the one thing
I most want to do,
I put it off, yet again.
In the moment,
Dusting the shelf
just seems easier
Just when I’m getting myself
Motivated to start,
There’s always one more thing to do.
And that seems to take priority
Over my creative pursuit.
Time to connect to myself and others.
A sense that there isn’t enough time;
That I could or should be doing more.
Although, how can that possibly be true?
What ifs, coulds and shoulds
are easy to be explain and defend
When there’s no evidence
to the contrary.
And it takes me further away
From my desires, my dreams.
Even though I know the reasons are untrue
That I can prioritize myself,
And the momentum gets started again.
Everything ebbs and flows.
Energy and time.
Winter is the season of quiet reflection
Of taking stock
And not regret for what never was
And couldn't ever be.
I remember our solo shopping trips to K-Mart.
It was just for a couple of hours
And I was my mom’s shopping buddy,
Helping to push the cart
and being surrounded by endless options
available in the aisles.
A girl could get lost for an hour or two
Just browsing and dreaming in the toy department.
After our shopping was complete,
We would go get an Italian grinder to share.
It was always a highlight and bittersweet
Because it meant our shopping trip was
coming to an end.
Plus, shopping always gives me an appetite.
And not just for the potential goods and wares
But the fulfillment that each item promises.
I wonder what memories I’m creating today
That my children will cherish into their adulthood.
We never know what impression will make its mark
When we’re living the moment in real-time as it occurs.
It’s only in hindsight and reflection
That our memories get formed and shaped
Later to be accessed again at a future date.
To be determined.
We never know when a scent, a sound or a view
will recall that memory back into focus
to embody that time and space once again.