Thursday, June 30, 2011

Be Kind to Yourself: The Weight of It All

You know the saying, 'I'm rubber and you're glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you'? Yeah. I hate that saying.

This is actually kind of a hard post to write. But I think it's important because I was inspired by a guy at the pool yesterday who I overheard telling his friends how fat he thought I was. Of course, I immediately felt embarassed and hurt. My first reaction was to think, I should leave. I don't belong here. I want to go home.

Maybe it's a sign of my own personal growth that I didn't completely fall apart or shut down. I'm kind of surprised that it didn't hurt more. Maybe it's because I know that I am beautiful. Maybe it's because I'm positive that stranger's comments had a lot more to do with something going on inside of him than they had to do with me.

Lately, I have been so inspired by some interviews with one of my favorite singers, Grammy Award winner, Adele Adkins. Not surprisingly for the entertainment industry, Adele is constantly receiving questions and criticism about her weight. "My aim in life is never to be skinny," she said once. And later, in Rolling Stone, "[T]hat's not what my music is about. I don't make music for eyes. I make music for ears." I find her confidence and obvious joy in who she is so refreshing. It gives me hope for my own self-image.

But I am learning that part of being kind to myself is letting the worst things, the unkind things, pass through me, not letting them stay inside of me, festering, putting down roots. It's silly for us to think that we can deflect the hurtful things people say about us. The human heart feels pain. And that's okay. I am giving myself permission to feel pain but to let the poison in those words fall away.

This post really isn't about fat or skinny. It's about caring for yourself. Because our worth cannot be tied up in how we look or what we wear or own. Worth is inherent in you and in me. Worth is in the soul. I hope today you will find a minute to be kind to your soul. Like Adele says, "I don't have a hole in my soul!"


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Alexandria said...

First: Where is this man? I will drop kick him SO HARD that he'll never want to say a mean thing ever again. What a jerkfacemcgee.

Second: You are beautiful. Beyond beautiful. And I'm glad you're not letting this silly silly man get you down. Because you are so much better than that.

Third: OH MY GOSH ADELE IS MY FAVORITE. And when I read that article I cried. It touched my soul. She's such an incredible person.


Charissa Steyn said...

Beautiful thoughts bloggy friend :) You are so right!!! it makes me happy to hear you are learning so much about- I am on that same journey as well! I didn't know about Adele- that's stinkin cool!! inspiring!

Jen said...

This is beautiful. And so are you.
And you hit the nail right on the head in thinking that that guy has his own issues going on. I'm a true believer that anyone who talks/gossips about, or makes comments to bring someone else down, it's because they are down about themselves and their own lives. It took me a while to learn that, but it sure is true.

ishrat said...

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Sarah (Not Her Real Name) said...

You're so brave for writing this post, Elizabeth. And Adele is an inspiration and also super hot, just like you are.

Emry said...

For obvious reasons, this post really resonates with me. As someone who has struggled with her weight my whole life, I sometimes forget that I'm not alone...that there are other people, people I love with all my heart, who feel the same way I do. Who battle the same insecure 13 year old inside their head that tells them to go and hide.

Thank you for reminding me that we are not our inner 13 year old girls.

Thank you for being strong, and bold, and beautiful (inside AND out), and for your courage in posting this.

Ashley @ A Recipe for Sanity said...

Thank you so much for writing this. I have been struggling for the past hour to write about a fairly similar issue, and you pushed me to go on. I am so sorry that this happened to you. People can be incredibly unfair, and whatever he said is untrue. You are beautiful in all ways (from what I have read thus far!) and no one can ever take that away.

Especially not that jackass, whom I would like to kick in the nuts.

P.S. Adele is awesome and incredibly gorgeous.

Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} said...

Wow, so so sorry that you had to deal with that wicked boy. I think you are spot on- it has a WHOLE lot more to do with what's going on with him than it does you. That's very insightful.

You are lovely. We're all lovely...lovely comes in all shapes and sizes and has a lot to do with what's inside US than what's on the outside.

Amanda said...

This was beautiful. Thank you.

Kathi said...

Elizabeth...very well- written truth. You have grown into a wise and beautiful woman. Oh how the world tries to make us believe that we just don't quite measure up and are not worthy. I am glad you know better. I am thankful for those who put forth a positive message like Adele.

I've stopped by your blog a few times and will continue to as I have the time... It's so fun to see what you intelligent young women have to say. I love it! Keep being the light where you are. You are a treasure.

Janet @ Made For This said...

NOW do you see why I want to be more like you? I love you, Baby Girl. Mama

Jenni @ Story of My Life said...

It makes me really angry that someone would say something like that about you, and that you had to hear it. But your introspections and thoughts here are beautiful and inspiring, regardless.

It's funny how sometimes it's the ugly, mean people who make the most impact on us. I have this crazy person who leaves comments on my blog and emails me occasionally, and she has nothing but nasty, hateful, mean things to say about me. I swear, it's a form of Satan himself stealing in and trying to rob away some of the joy I get from blogging. And sometimes that happens. The trick is to know and love yourself well enough to hear those hurtful words, ask yourself if there's any truth in them, and if there isn't, to let them go. People are ugly towards others because they are ugly inside, and for that we should pity them (not ourselves).

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