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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Southern Girls Living Fearlessly - Day 7

Shall I compare thee to a . . . No, thank you, please do not. I do enough comparing myself all on my own. And make no mistake, there are no comparisons . . . at least that's what I try to convince myself.

Why do we do it? We compare our china to our sister's. We compare our camellia's with the state fair winning gardener's. We compare the lines on our faces, the pudges on our waistlines, to the non-existent ones on the model smiling on the cover of Glamour. We compare our wardrobes, our children, our hair, our oriental rugs, our curb appeal to everyone else's, as if theirs matters and ours doesn't.

No one has weeds in her flower beds like me. My weeds have grown as tall as much of my landscaping. Every time it rains, I pull some, as time permits. I have more weeds than time, however. And by the time it rains again, another weed has grown again in the place of the one I pulled.

Just because I'm the only one on my street that has weeds, does that make my weeds bad? unsightly? inferior? ugly? No. Just weeds. My weeds. They are unique to me and I am one-of-a-kind. You and your weeds are also yours to own and embrace.

Admitting I've got weeds doesn't mean I can't or shouldn't pull them, or at the very least minimize their intrusion in my flower bed. But most likely, they're only obvious to me. I am my own worst critic, which means every other person who passes by my house is his or her own worst critic . . . which means he or she is probably spending so much time focused on his or her own weeds he or she doesn't even notice mine; and therefor, isn't noticing yours either, at least not to the degree that you do.

Let's, you and I, resolve today to quit comparing ourselves to others. Let's pull the weeds that are truly invasive and call the others wild flowers and let them bloom. The weeds we pull we'll put in the compost pile and use as fertilizer later.

Whatever I choose to do, I will call it mine.

TODAY'S ASSIGNMENT: You will need

  • Full length mirror
  • white paper
  • pencil
  • pen
  • markers
  • paint
  • tape
  • glue
  • old magazines
  • newspaper

Stand in front of the full-length mirror. Look very carefully at yourself. Not just at the image reflected back at you, but look at your whole person. What are your unique qualities? Do you have a mole over your right eye? Are you unusually skilled at boccie ball? Do bees seem to favor you over other people at picnics? What makes you different from every other person in the whole world?

Use the art materials you gathered to construct a self-portrait. Highlight and exaggerate your unique qualities, weeds and all. From now on, whenever you feel the need to make a comparison, instead of looking at other people, look at your own self-portrait. Remind yourself, when the comparison urge comes on, that women who are truly living fearlessly compare themselves to no one, because there are no comparisons.

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