Last night, at my NA meeting, a young lady shared about what was going on in her life. I'm ashamed to say that I don't remember a lot of the specifics; what I remember is something she said about needing to get OK with being alone.
As I sat there in the candle light, with the ambient light from the city filtering through the blinds, I listened to the rhythms of humanity passing by; and I remembered.
I remembered when I was alone for the first time and OK with it.
I had never really been alone in my life until I had a bit over 2 years clean and left an abusive relationship. I was always running from myself; using others to distract me from the elephant in the room. When I finally found myself in that little apartment, alone, I found myself soothed by the ambient light of the apartment complex streaming through the blinds, the rhythm of traffic passing by on the streets outside the gate, and the ticking of the clock on my bedside table.
I have always found such peace in those moments; those moments when the city and its lights and sounds creep into my room to keep me company through my lonely nights. Yet that was nothing compared to that newfound peace that flooded through me when I finally sat down, got still, and looked the elephant in the room dead in the eyes and got to know it. In that moment, that elephant quit being some demon I was afraid of and became just a part of me that felt as normal and natural as the blood in my veins.
I shared about that feeling, and about what got me there. I shared about how working the steps helped me get OK with being alone, and helped me start loving me.
Then another woman shared about the same sort of experience; about getting OK with herself and with being alone. She shared how she came to the realization that (and I quote her words exactly) "I am awesome".
I could have fucking cried.
So many women go through life without ever knowing that feeling. Far too many women spend entire lifetimes beating themselves up and hating themselves. Too many women never find the joy in their own beauty, their own awesomeness.
Seeing women struggle with self-loathing, negating both their inner and outer beauty, breaks my heart.
We live in a westernized society that bombards us with images of impossibly thin women with impossibly perfect skin, messages that we aren't thin enough or pretty enough; we don't smell good enough, we don't listen to the right music; we don't parent our children the right way; we don't keep the house clean enough; it goes on and on and on.
We, as women, are destined to fail at being women as long as we continue to buy into the myth that perfection is attainable. Celebrities have their clothes tailored--that's how they look so fucking good in their clothes. (Well, tailoring and multiple layers of shapewear.) Models' faces are airbrushed before the photos are printed in magazinines. Plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures make women appear 20-30 years younger than they actually are. The deceptions go on and on and on.
We, as women, are more than enough just the way we are. We are beautiful, just as we are.
I wish more women could find that feeling that my friend shared about, that certainty that "I am awesome". I wish more women would reclaim the power that our male-dominated society has stripped from us with all of the negative messaging we are bombarded with.
I wish more women could find that peace that floods me every time I actually let myself get quiet and still, basking in the ambient light filtering through the blinds, letting the ticking of the clock remind me that all I have is this moment, and in this moment, I am enough, I am beautiful, and "I am awesome".