Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

Here I sit. The Late Night Blogger. Unlike Jimmy Fallon or Conan, I don’t have a guest star to share my stage. I don’t really claim to be an expert in anything New Age like Spiritual Awakening or Marianne Williamson’s “A Course in Miracles”.

Uh oh. There I go down that path again! How many times have I told people to focus on what they do have? To give their attention to what they have accomplished? Yet, here I am, droning on about what I don’t have. And there, my friends, is my topic for tonight. As is quite common, I sat down in front of my computer with no clue as to what I’d talk about tonight. The UBC prompt didn’t really get me excited, which left me to my own devices. (dangerous under the most controlled of circumstances!) Yet I had every confidence that by the time I’d either sat for a few minutes or typed with no real path or purpose in mind, something would come to me, and it did.

Always remember that you are a work in progress.

None of us are perfect, and if we ever reached perfection, we’d be done here. There’d be no more goals to set, nothing to strive for, heck, not even a reason to get up in the morning! That isn’t to say that you won’t have days when you don’t actually accomplish something. It just means that as humans, we always want to improve something.

I’m not talking about the way we look, per se. Even weight loss and body toning is about being healthier, in my opinion. It’s about being better at what we do. But in the process of improving ourselves, of learning new skills, of being a better person, because we are works in progress, we’ll fall back into old ways sometimes, like my failure-face focus, at the beginning of this post. When we do revert like that, it doesn’t mean we’ve failed. In fact, like what just happened to me, it’s an opportunity to remind ourselves, not of how far we have to go, but of how far we’ve come!

Look back at the person you were five or ten years ago. Are you really the same person now? Have you made no changes, grown no stronger or kinder or smarter in some way? Of course you have! Unless you’re one of those people who, like a pebble in the sea, just lets the world push you hither and yon without any real desire to have a say in the matter, you evolve…you change…but most of all, you improve!

Sadly, most of us, at one time or another, do ourselves a serious disservice by comparing ourselves to someone else. I’m reminded of the years my daughters ran track. I always told them that it wasn’t about how they did against the other kids. It was about doing better than they had the last time; in short, making improvements to themselves based on their own performance, not someone else’s. How can we use someone else’s yardstick when we are not them? We have a different history, different goals, different challenges to overcome. Which brings me to my favorite Dr. Seuss quote:

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

We all need to remember that “You” is someone pretty amazing, and should never be the one we treat with the least amount of kindness. (Admit it. You’re guilty of exactly that at least some of the time! I know I certainly am!). We need to look at ourselves in the mirror, and I mean, really look at ourselves. Just stop for a minute while you’re washing your hands or putting on makeup (I’d recommend against doing so while brushing your teeth. There’s something rather off-putting about a reflection that’s foaming at the mouth!). Look at the person in the mirror and say something like:

“I really love you!” or
You are looking particularly gorgeous today! or my personal favorite
You are beautiful, sexy, sassy and delicious!”

Because if you can’t make yourself smile and feel good about you, nobody else can either. Tell yourself the truth now. Don’t you deserve to feel beautiful (or handsome), special, talented and worthy? Is there not some quality about yourself of which you are particularly fond…proud, even?

I just got an amusing visual of walking into a restaurant while in the throes of self pity and self trash talking, and since it’s bouncing around in my head, I have to share.

WAITER: “May I help you, Miss?”
ME: (standing in front of the podium, chin resting on my chest, mouth turned down at the corners to merge unattractively with my chin)”Um, yeah. Just one.”
WAITER: “Oh, yes, I see. Pity party for one. I’ll just put you over here in the corner so your sniveling and whining don’t annoy my other customers. Unless you’d rather just take it to go so you can wallow in the privacy of your own home?” (he gets a very hopeful expression on his face with his last words.)

My point is, self-pity doesn’t look good on anyone, and I haven’t met too many people who want to listen to someone speaking unkindly of themselves. Even if you’re feeling lower than a possum’s belly, why not pretend yourself into a better mood? What’s that, you say? I’m taking a hint from a song in “The King and I”. I’ve always loved the part when
Anna sings:

Whenever I feel afraid
I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune
So no one will suspect, I’m afraid

While shivering in my shoes
I strike a careless pose
And whistle a happy tune
And no one ever knows I’m afraid

The result of this deception
Is very strange to tell
For when I fool the people I fear
I fool myself as well

I whistle a happy tune
And every single time
The happiness in the tune
Convinces me that I’m not afraid

Make believe you’re brave
And the trick will take you far
You may be as brave
As you make believe you are

You may be as brave
As you make believe you are
I think it is a very good idea, mother, a very good idea

Yes, it is a good idea, isn’t it
I do think I shall never be afraid again
Good

The result of this deception
Is very strange to tell
For when I fool the people I fear
I fool myself as well

I whistle a happy tune
And every single time
The happiness in the tune
Convinces me that I’m not afraid

Make believe you’re brave
And the trick will take you far
You may be as brave
As you make believe you are
You may be as brave
As you make believe you are

Although the song talks about bravery, couldn’t finding our happy, positive self be approached in the same manner? I know a lot of people who put themselves together and show up with a smile on their face no matter how rotten they feel, or how rough a day or week they might have had. One friend was in a lot of pain for the better part of this year, yet, if you didn’t look too closely at her eyes, you’d never know anything was wrong. Even in the hospital after surgery, her makeup was on, her hair was fixed and there was a smile on her face. She’s the selfie queen and took a lot of pictures. I now use her as a role model. Not so much that I have my makeup and hair perfectly done, and all of the jewelery and such she feels incomplete without, but the fact that she does put on a happy face, no matter what.

In fact, now that I think about it, she and a couple of other friends who are equally classy and put together have had either health or personal issues this year, but to see them or talk to them, you’d never know it. Because they don’t act like their world is turned upside down, they seem to recover a lot faster too.

Before this post becomes a novel, I’ll leave you with a final thought. Positive attracts positive and negative attracts negative. You can choose what you want to attract.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that my life is filled with positive people.
2. I am grateful that I’ve learned to treat myself with as much kindness as I would anyone else.
3. I am grateful that I can now recognize when I’m heading down a path which will only drag me down, and turn it before it goes too far.
4. I am grateful for my friends who set such impressive examples.
5. I am grateful for abundance: friendship, positivity, happiness, joy, love, motivation, inspiration, health and prosperity.

Namaste

You can also fine me at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel  Stop by and “like” my author page.  It will be where I chronicle my journey from mere writer to published author.

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Comments on: "October 5, 2014 Keeping our focus on the positive." (4)

  1. Focusing on what we do know – absolutely! To be true to ourselves and to others is freedom. I like your Dr. Seuss quote – good words throughout here. I enjoyed my visit from the UBC today – thank you!

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    • Susan,
      The words are easy to say, but not always so easy to put into practice every minute of every day. That’s why I like little reminders like the Dr. Seuss quote.

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  2. Your subject really made me think, especially as I wrote a post about a woman who had to wear a mask for two years. Could she still look in the mirror and love herself? Most of the time, she didn’t. But she should still love the person inside and not seek pity.

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    • Sounds like a great story, Francene. Isn’t it funny how no matter what we post, someone out there has written on the subject as well? I find a lot of sycnhronicity among bloggers.

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