Day 21: Fearfully Afraid

Tuesday, Oct. 1

The root of everything is fear. If I am (and you and you and you are) really honest with ourselves, then we can cut out all the crap about the media, etc ruining our lives with their unnatural images of beauty. The truth is that we are all just afraid.

Of what?

Lots of things. Now, I can’t speak for all of you, but for me, the biggest fear is that of not being liked. Why should I care if people like me? I don’t know. Maybe I should, maybe I shouldn’t, maybe I should—but just not as much as I do? But isn’t there something inherent in most of us that makes us want to be liked?

And so, in our efforts to be liked, we do things we might not otherwise do. Wear makeup to appear more attractive (because that’s what we’ve been told is attractive), dress a certain way to express ourselves (that we are modest and respectable, that we are sexy, that we are professional, that we are athletic, or even that we don’t care what message our clothes send), we talk a certain way (please, thank you, blah blah blah), we eat stuff we might not like (to be healthy, to not offend the chef, to fit in)…we do lots of things for other people. So they like us. So we fit in. To quench that thirst for approval.

I want people to like me. I want people to think I’m nice. That I’m smart. That I’m a hard-worker. That I have morals. That I am strong. That I am dependable. That I am funny. That I am pretty. Am I the only one?

No.

I’ve noticed that so many people who come across as cold and distant (and I interpret that as snobby) are really just shy and afraid to speak up to someone. They might fear being rejected. Or made fun of. Or misunderstood.

There are women who wear mounds of makeup (so much so that it sometimes has the opposite effect of what makeup should be doing for someone) and I think, Oh gosh, that person is materialistic and stuck-up…but the truth is that they are usually just insanely self-conscious (like me)! And rather than let on that that’s the case, they transform themselves into an alter-ego, someone who is SO put together they look uncomfortable in their own skin (or skin-tight outfit). But deep down, they are just afraid that no one will like them without all the glitz and glam, or ill-fitting (as in TOO tight) clothes.

I looked at myself in the mirror this morning (something I’m forced to do because of my own vanity and also as part of this journey to ACCEPT how I look, and to do that I HAVE to look at myself, no matter how frightful I imagine it will be). And it occurred to me that I really am starting to like what I see (yes, I know, you all told me so! you win!) and getting used to what I look like without makeup (as in, I didn’t want to vomit in my own mouth at the sight).

I’m learning (day by day) that it’s okay to not wear makeup. That I have totally been too hard on myself, and that the people who tell me I look pretty without makeup are NOT lying to me (this is HUGE, people, not to offend you with my mistrust, but seriously…it feels like people are full of crap sometimes and just saying what they think I want to hear).

I want to see what they see. I want to stop picking apart all the “flaws” and learn to love every freckle, scar, mole there is. And lo and behold, I am getting there (insert surprised emoji here)! Even though I’m still making excuses for my haggard appearance, the more I do so, the more I realize how unnecessary it is. And so, a toast to myself for sticking with it…not giving up…not giving in…and not hiding from the ugly truth: that I, like so many others, have been living in fear and I will no longer let that fear control my self-image.

Cheers! To the final countdown of this journey…nine days to go! And I’m feeling more and more each day that I really don’t NEED makeup to make me happy.

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