I recently posted some new photos on Facebook that my 17-year-old daughter (a budding new make-up artist and photographer) took of me. Truth be told, I’ve been stepping back into my “Woman Energy” over the past few months – really getting my “Mo-Jo” back — and I wanted some new pictures to reflect where I’m at now.
When we first began the photo shoot, I was quite posed and poised. Covered and proper. My daughter lowered her camera and said, “You look unhappy. Too serious. That’s not who you are. We need to capture the Real You.” (God, I love my kids!)
So we pumped up the tunes and I started dancing around, having fun with her. Like the proud Momma Bear that I am – both for my daughter’s accomplishment and for my own (I really had fun!), I posted my new shots.
After a bunch of lovely comments (almost all from women — and certainly nothing sexual or inappropriate from men), a woman who I don’t even know writes this comment on my personal Facebook page: “I’m very disappointed to see you post this sexy picture of yourself.”
I then looked at all my posts and my pictures and thought:
“Wow…this is exactly why I was afraid to shine.”
The old me would have felt ashamed, maybe even embarrassed. I might have pulled the picture down and convinced myself that women need me to be frumpy and chubby in order for me to do “healing work” in the world (a.k.a. my “Mother Energy”).
Instead, I sent her a private message that said, “Since you find me to be too sexual and exploitative, perhaps we shouldn’t be friends.” I then “unfriended” her. (I would never have done that in the good ole days!! Ever! In fact, I would have believed her.)
This is the photo I posted that she thought was too sexy…
Truth be told, since that happened, I’ve been subtly self-sabotaging. My daily workouts dropped to maybe two this last week. I drank a little more wine than normal, and I indulged in more “treats”.
Sure, I tried to convince myself it was because I had an extraneous workload and so many dinner meetings out; not to mention, it was Valentine’s Day.
But I don’t think that’s true. I was lying to myself. “I let you dull my shine, lady.”
I’m sure it was unconscious “stuff” that was coming up. My fear that if I shine too brightly women won’t like me. Be good but not too good. Smile and be happy but not too happy. And please, cover your shoulders!!
The good news is I’m drinking my hot water with lemon and raw honey this morning, and I’m just getting ready to climb on my treadmill. Lesson learned. Thank you.
I won’t hold myself back to please anyone else, especially some judgmental woman whom I don’t even know.
As Marianne Williamson said it so beautifully:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Ladies, we have to support each other. We have to encourage, empower, uplift, and celebrate each other. I really hope and pray that by me uploading a fabulous fun shot of myself where I felt beautiful (Yes! I’m actually saying “I felt beautiful”) that it will unconsciously give you permission to do the same.
Now, let’s be clear: I’m not talking about taking a million sexy “selfies” and posting them all over the internet because we’re desperate for attention and approval. I’m asking you to not be afraid to be your best, happiest, most beautiful and empowered YOU. Shine bright, my friend. Shine bright! The world is counting on us!