• Lindsey Garner

Things I learn in therapy...

I talk to a counselor every week. Ok, I’m lying...I have two counselors I talk to. I mean, why not right? For real, ya’ll...why not? It’s almost like I just pay someone to have deep conversations with me. I will always be open about that simply because I cannot understand why I wouldn’t be. Talking is healthy and emotions are real. If we don’t feel them, they turn into disease. That’s all I’ll say about that. So yeah...get yourself one of those counselors. Maybe even two!

This week I was chatting with him about physical beauty, and what that means to me. This came about because I told him that I wanted to feel as good about my outsides as I do about my insides. Right now, current state, I do not. I don’t say this to have you comment on this and say how pretty you think I am. That’s not what I need, or want from this. I say this because I feel a giant discrepancy between how beautiful I feel inside my heart and head and what I see in the mirror reflected back at me. I’m making it my focus to bring my vision of these two sides of myself together, and I plan to write about this process. Writing things makes them solid for me. Maybe your intuitive instinct is to comfort me. Please don’t. I think sometimes discomfort is actually what we need. It’s a good place. There’s no advice, pill, miracle treatment or distraction to take me out of this. I want to sit here in it and figure out why I think that.

I have looked around at my world and for some reason, created an idea that to be beautiful, you have to be small. You have to be delicate, and quiet and not ruffle feathers. I don’t even know where I got that from. I guess I just looked around and noticed what I saw. I noticed what boys seemed to like when I was growing up, or who got the most attention. I wanted that attention too. So I guess I made up this idea that in order get that attention, you must look and be "small".

Meanwhile, I’ve lived most of my life feeling too big. Too much. Too loud. Just “too” instead of just “right”. I wanted to feel loved and cared for, and being small seemed to be the only road to that level of love. Like, the more I disappeared, the more likely someone would love me.

So, back to my counselor. He’s a wizard, that one. His particular style of wizardry involves getting me to see that I actually know all of the things he teaches me already. He's just there to remind me. He asked me to redefine beautiful. He told me that somewhere my wires got crossed and gave me this idea of physical beauty that wasn’t realistic or even actually what I want it to be. So, I get to start over, and recreate that. I already knew that. I knew deep down in my gut that a unified standard of beauty is a freaking myth anyway. I have friends that are attracted to the complete opposite kind of guy I am, or think a pair of shoes or a sweater is lovely when I think it's ugly as hell. So it's all subjective anyway, right? So if it's subjective, I can choose something different. At least that's how I summed it all up in my brain.

I feel most beautiful when I’m in nature. The sun on my skin and wind on my face makes me feel feminine and deeply lovely. I have never understood the idea of covering up what we were given Divinely with makeup, or injecting it or making it look like it isn’t aging. Aging is a freaking gift ya’ll. We GET to age, not have to age. If I'm truly honest with myself, "dressing up" or putting on an outfit that feels strange or uncomfortable to me doesn't feel right. Old, broken in jeans and a soft tee shirt do, though.

Now you do you, boo. You like makeup? That’s great. I’m not attacking that. I’m talking about my journey here, not yours, so take what serves you and tell me to shove whatever doesn’t for you. Just because I like to have dirt under my nails and give to others to find my beauty doesn’t mean you have to.

I hope you'll come along on this journey with me. Let's take a look at when we feel most beautiful. Really think about it. When do you feel free? When are you not covering up, sucking in or aware of yourself. When are you truly wild and who you are intended to be with no cares? That's the moment! Notice it. And then let's just go from there together.

This week, my particular focus is on slowing the hell down and taking a few extra minutes to nurture myself. For me, that means walks outside and a little bit of extra time tacked on to my meditation. That could look like a whole hell of a lot of things for you. Just try it. Five minutes. No one is so important that you don't have five minutes. If your instinct here says "I don't have five minutes", call me. Let's discuss. Choose yourself.

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