Molly McCallum sent me this wonderful message full of wisdom - she puts over important points so beautifully, I wanted to share. I met Molly via her daughter Mariya - she sent many messages of support while I was on the Atlantic, and this message was in response to my blog about (un)natural beauty.
I was going to edit out the bits that were too kind about me, in case I sounded big-headed, but Molly thought it better I leave her message in its original form... so forgive!
Love getting your notes and thoughts. You are an amazing person because you are open to sharing who YOU are and your thoughts. People spend their lives often hiding behind a facade that they have built up to make them "acceptable" to others and perhaps thought more "highly" of by others and allowing people to know their pure thoughts and insecurities they feel would invalidate who they are. How exhausting.
We are born perfect. Through life, experiences change us and we adapt to what and how we feel we will survive and be accepted. If we're fortunate at some point we touch our inner "perfection" and then go on a search to rid ourselves of that which is not true to who we are.
You are one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. Not only because of your physical beauty, which is obvious when one first meets you, but from what you "send out". You care, you listen, you search, you wander and you wonder. You're open. You allow others to see that you are vulnerable and from that you give them permission to be vulnerable too and to know that people will still love them and care.
Yes, I have learned that there are people out there who don't like me at all, who find me irritating and at first I was surprised, being a person who wants to please and help others, but that's OK and makes me realize at least that I do exist and that I must have a personality or they wouldn't feel so strongly about me!
As I get older I try to spend time with people who give me energy and not with people who take it away. I can truly only please myself and if I don't love myself how can others?
I do wake up at night and go over my imperfections and how I haven't done what I was going to do, I ate food that isn't good for me and won't help me lose weight or I repeated a pattern that is not helpful to myself and I can really ream myself and my "imperfections" but a phrase comes to me that I was once told... "in ways as yet unknown to me my every need is met" and if I say that to myself I can let the other stuff go and know that I am doing my best and perhaps things are happening to me so that I can learn something that I didn't even know might be good for me to learn.
I know that I am a "work in progress" and for every regression that I see I hope that I can humbly remember that I am " not perfect" and that tomorrow is another opportunity to try again.
Thanks for all that you have given me by sharing your life!
[Note: photo of Molly taken at Crater Lake last month. The latest message I got from Molly, her husband is out with the Search and Rescue team looking for an 8-year-old boy who has been missing at Crater Lake for 3 days now. Hopes are fading, but let's pray for his safe return...]
I got back to my 'home' in California at 2am last night. It can't be natural, zipping across the time zones and seasons like this. I feel like I've slipped through a time warp - yesterday England was settling comfortably into the greyness of autumn, but this morning I woke up to California's eternal summer. My body clock is protesting not just at its day-clock disruption - its year-clock is confused as well.
A word of warning: my internet access is going to be patchy this week. The connection was cut off just before I went away 4 weeks ago, due to an administrative oversight on the part of my landlord. He paid the bill promptly, but service has not been restored. When I rang up this morning AT&T informed me that yes, the account had been paid, but they had not specifically been asked to reconnect the line.
Duh! Wouldn't it be kind of OBVIOUS?! I guess not.
It will be reconnected on Friday, just before I hit the road again: on Saturday I leave for a 4-day sailing voyage, and thence to Washington State for the start of my mega-US-road-trip: diagonally across the US to Miami to collect Sedna, and then through the southern states with Sedna in tow, back to the West Coast.
So for now I am sitting outside, piggybacking on my neighbour's wireless internet. Maybe there are advantages to California's eternal summer after all - couldn't do this in England's autumnal rain...
Ha! there is no easy way - you knew that! If I knew an easy way to get fit I'd make milliions... No, what I mean is that it's not rocket science. So I amaze myself by my own shortcomings on this score. Over the last 6 months, while I've been in almost constant motion. I have had no end of excuses for allowing myself to get seriously out of shape - 'it's hard to find healthy food when you're constantly on the road' (not true), 'I've no time to exercise' (not true), 'I can't run' (unfortunately true, due to pelvic stress fracture).
But the rot has to stop. I feel almost disabled by my gain in weight and loss of fitness. To gain 35 pounds in 6 months feels really weird, like I've woken up in the wrong body. I was limping while my pelvis was painful, and my walking still feels off-kilter, like a pregnant woman leaning backwards to counter the extra weight of her belly.
Inspiration arrived this morning from Greg K - read it and see if it works for you.
Ever envied a model for their beauty? Envy no more - you too can be beautiful. All you need is Photoshop. Take a look at this.
A friend sent this link to me today, with uncanny timing. This morning I went to see a therapist - a complementary, energy-working, spiritual kind of a therapist. I won't even begin to catalogue my list of problems (amazing I still function at all, given how utterly bunged-up all my systems apparently are) but his fundamental ethos was that I need to love myself. And my body. Even the squidgy bits. Maybe ESPECIALLY the squidgy bits.
It's not an easy thing to do, to totally accept myself as I am. The therapist also diagnosed in me a bad case of stubbornness and competitiveness. Competitiveness thrives on comparing myself with others. At least now I know that some of those others have been photographically enhanced, it makes me more forgiving towards my physical imperfections.
If you have time, read the forum on the Campaign for Real Beauty site - messages from teenage girls already feeling under pressure to be thinner, prettier, better dressed.
What kind of a crazy world is this, when we aspire to look like somebody who isn't even real, somebody who exists only in softcopy, courtesy of photographic software manipulation?