It's so very interesting to me to see the differences in how people are raised. And, I guess in some cases, are left to raise themselves. In this particular case, it's a matter of differences in being raised.
With her permission, I'm sharing a bit about our morning.
I met my friend for coffee this morning. Hubby seems to encourage me to go out and meet gal friends for conversation. I appreciate his ability to see when I need a 'time out.' We met at one of the local coffee places *not Starbucks, but makes good stuff too.* They also have a much larger selection of sugar free syrups *like White Chocolate* and they're cheaper and they have a 'loyalty' program too. All good things. Moving on.
She had called me earlier in the week to see if we could meet and talk weight loss stuff. Sure! Why not? Anywho, it seems as though in her childhood/adolescent years, it was all about body image, how others perceived you, and was 'encouraged' to remain thin by her mom, who also has this perception. At some point, my friend started to possibly feel a sense of rebellion against what she 'knew.' She's now married and being away from that community, things start to come to light. Have you ever had that happen? You get pulled from a situation and then...WHAM! It's like a light bulb goes off or you have an 'ah-ha!' moment. What makes you, you? Is it what others 'put upon' you or is it how you look at yourself?
Where am I going with this? I'm drawing a comparison, so hang in there.
As I grew up, my parents were encouraging. However, I was surrounded by people who told me *or at least I felt that they were telling me* that I was unattractive. It never seemed to make a difference what I did, it wasn't enough. My parents always told me how beautiful I was, but I could never wrap my mind around it. It's like the good was outweighed by the bad. And why would I let what others say to me change what my parents were saying to me? I'm not really sure.
Two different up-bringings, but we've kind of come to a similar ending. Our self-image is distorted. There is no magic answer to change the way we see ourselves. Often times when we see ourselves so negatively, we have a hard time sharing ourselves with others. In particular, we have a hard time sharing our inner most self with our significant other. Of course, if they love us as unconditionally as humanly possible, then they'll love us no matter what. They love our quirks, our idiosyncrasies, our fluff, and they love our sensitivities. If we happen to be paired to a member of the male species, their love for us includes trying to 'fix' our hurts. While we, as women, don't want to be 'fixed', we just want to be heard. I often times feel better if hubby offers to help. After all, we were created to be help-mates for each other.
I'd imagine that a lot of you *most of you women* know exactly what I'm saying here. You don't necessarily feel good in your own skin. Again, no magic answer, but surrounding yourself by others who encourage you and love ya for who you are, is a huge step in this direction. Sadly, there are many women in this same place, and you can count me in on it too. Don't feel alone. Reach out and be encouraged!