Tuesday, February 21, 2006

SPT {All of Me-3}

I saw this question earlier in the week on Snowsparkle's blog and I've been tossing it around in my mind ever since...

Who profits from your self-loathing?

Something about that question stops me dead in my tracks. Something about it causes me to gasp and fall to my knees. I get it. By staying small, by remaining locked in a battle with our own minds, bodies, and spirits the world only gets part of us. And part of us is never enough. Part of me is never enough. No one will profit from my smallness, from my powerlessness, from my self-degradation. The world needs my light and my voice and my power and my story. It needs yours too. Healing our relationship with ourselves is the first step, and maybe the hardest step. Turning away from the ugly parts sure seems a lot easier than cradling them in our arms. And still, that is the gift I most need to give myself.

So, who profits from my self-loathing. I know the correct answer should be a resounding "no one." And if no one profits then I need to stop it right now! But that isn't quite true. Perhaps advertising does. If they can get us feeling bad enough about ourselves then they can sell us anything. Maybe others in my life who were wrapped up in their own self hatred have profited. If I feel miserable about myself then they feel a little bit better, or at least we can be in the same boat. Maybe a disfunctional society does. If we stay focused on loathing ourselves then we won't focus on the issues that really matter and we certainly won't band together to confront those issues. And maybe, and I do hate to say this, even I have profited. If I just stay wrapped up in my faults and failures then I never have to accept my potential. I never have to embrace my success and my power and my beauty. I can stay safe in the miserable comfort of my self rejection. So maybe actually accepting oneself is a mighty big risk, a risk it's time to start taking.

When I play this question in my mind over and over again I begin to feel a sense of determination. I begin to feel little flutters of hope. I begin to feel my spirit beefing up to do battle with any inner thoughts and outer influences that want to rob me of my self-acceptance. Let's not allow anyone or anything to profit. Instead let's brace ourselves for the radiant revolution of self-loving. The world can only profit from our fullness.


Blogger Deb R said...

I bet you've seen this quote before, but it's one I love and believe and your post reminded me of it, so thank you!

9:14 PM  
Anonymous beansprout said...

These questions are definitely in the ether today! I posted earlier in the day on self-cruelty, inspired by something I read at Be Present, Be Here. Wow! I can feel the force of self-love about the begin. Raise the flag! The time has come to live in our largesse.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Turquoise CRO said...

No more self loathing young lady! I'm glad you said to stop it! There is enough negativity in the world already! I'm sending you a BIG HUG!!! (((((Michelle))))))

10:35 PM  
Blogger telfair said...

Great question, great post, and such a cute picture of you!

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

What a fabulously to-the-point question! Great post. I have to continually remind myself to not make myself small for others' comfort level. I do it mostly to avoid conflict, and in the moment it doesn't seem like self-loathing--it feels like self-preservation around people and situations that aren't safe for me. But on a deeper level I can see how continuing to be in those situations (a workplace, a friendship, whatever) actually contributes to self-loathing. Good, thought-provoking stuff...thanks for sharing it the way you did.

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet again, your words so true.
The world can only profit from our fullness, I try everyday to turn down the negativity in my head and remember what I have to offer.
Justine (62cherry.typepad.com)

11:40 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

thank you for this...yes yes...finding the fullness. letting go of the self-loathing. what would happen if i just did it? let it go? thank you for the invitation. between your post and beansprout's i need to realize that this is the message for me to hear today. right now. thank you.

11:46 PM  
Blogger megg said...

What a nice picture of you! And as always you have made me think so deeply. Thank you so much.

1:16 AM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

Wow, this is amazing. It particularly resonates with me after my self-loathing SPT this week. You're SO very right. Thank you for reminding me what's important.

3:19 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

and you are so right
when you say it is ourselves
that benefit from our own

so true.

3:25 AM  
Anonymous autum said...

I needed that. Thank you! Beautiful picture by the way :)

5:16 AM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

That is such a cute picture of you.

I know what you mean. I didn't realize how much I can't stand positive attention, but can perfectly handle the negative. Go figure.

5:54 AM  
Blogger red sun said...

Amen! It's amazing how much attention can be brought to such a significant issue, with such a simple question.

6:06 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I am fairly new at being a blogger and have SO enjoyed reading yours. You are such an inspiration. I have enjoyed being rather hidden as only friends and family know my blog, but I would be thrilled to share it with you and be added to your link list. You can find me at seasidedreamer.blogspot.com

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post and great picture. I love the question you brought up...who does benifit? My only answer is just those at my pity party. Which would be just me.

I'' have to remember this question next time I decide to throw such a bash.

Very thought provoking, thanks.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Josephine said...

Very cute photo! You look content and happy :)

I love this entry! Amazing. Snowsparkle really is a thought provoking woman, as are you. It's so inspiring to hear your words as you come forth from your cocoon. A beauty to behold, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, and us.

From one American woman to another, I have so much respect for your courage!


7:16 AM  
Blogger Bethany said...

This is an incredible post. Thank you, thank you for writing it.

I had real reservations about this month's SPT challenge. I didn't want it to be about the things I loathe about myself. I didn't want to take pictures of my messes, my fat belly, or anything that would make me feel like crap. So many women already focus every day on the things about themselves that they don't like, that they think make them unworthy in some way.

Again, thank you.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

I will keep thinking about this post for a very long time. Very thought-provoking, but so hard to do. You're right--it does seem easier to just go on feeling bad and helpless and hopeless. But there is a higher plane of self-acceptance that we all need to reach...thank you!

8:58 AM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

Michelle, i think your thoughtful exploration of this subject has had far-reaching effects. i went to the site linked in debr's comment and found this quote.... "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." all i can say is wow!!!! and thank you for all the encouragements you provide to all of us.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, I needed to hear this today. It made me feel better.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Server Girl said...

wow...this is all so true. thanks for sharing...it definitly made me think :)

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, talk about pretty in pink!

Yowza-- you should post that pic permanently at your site-- so SO beautiful are you.

Second, what an incredibly important question--- you are right that advertising profits from our self-loathing-- I mean come on-- women having their faces hacked apart and made to think that is more beautiful than their natural aging? It blows my mind.

but, I think it all comes down to power. There's always someone who wants to feed off our power and if we are filled with self-loathing we give our power away to those who are more confident (whether or not they deserve to be confident).

Something happens to artists and creatives--- they are so sensitive as kids they absorb criticism in ways that tougher skinned people don't and then those bullies grow up to rule the world-- it's so wrong.

So, I would say, power of one and all that-- making a decision to stop self-loathing is one set of butterfly wings making a motion to start change that can ripple out across the world.


11:06 AM  
Blogger Glamorous Jo said...

Love....it......all of it.

11:32 AM  
Blogger melba said...

I think you are right that sometimes other people do profit from our self-loathing. I have had the discussion before with my husband that their needs to be a mutual trust of "I am always going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are coming from a loving place". This is easier for my husband to do than me. Sometimes I am so quick to judge because of things that have happened in the past...I will assume the worst from him and other people. When we truly love ourselves and allow ourselves to be loved by others there is no room for the loathing.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Charmaine said...

Sometimes the best questions are ones we never think to ask ourselves...I'm glad I stopped by your blog today to read this post. Thanks for the perspective.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

Beautifully said! Love yourself like you love your child, and nurture yourself and protect yourself from the negative voices that want to intrude. I think most of us are guilty of telling ourselves things we would NEVER in a million years say to a child or a friend or even to someone we don't even LIKE. And here's a nice quote:

Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and be that perfectly. - St francis de Sales

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Dina said...

Beautiful essay. My dad recently posted a comment on one of my SPTs that said, "Hate only an ugliness you can change. Love everything else."

Here's to giving up the self-critic role.

12:57 PM  
Blogger dani said...

yes we all profit with these fine words.

lovely pic!

1:37 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Great blog.. and holy cow I would say that you touched a nerve... or are terribly popular! lol

I think that you are right about self loathing, but it keeps us humble. I think that most of us really like ourselves. There are parts we would give our kidney to change but... in general we are our own best friend and worse enemy.

I think that blogging is such a good example of that. We are all here with questions... looking for answers to our thoughts... and at the same time we are sharing our insight and perspecitve on things because we feel our opinion matters.

cheers!! K

3:17 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I LOVE this. I my goodness, I want to think this way. It's so so true, this makes me want to change and love myself and stop being a self hater, what a waste of everything!!! great thought's.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I just wanted to tell you I'm printing this post out and sending it to 2 of my friends who don't surf blogs. I think they will be so encouraged by this and maybe it will help them love themselves a little more.

4:01 PM  
Blogger shara said...

What a lovely post.

5:08 PM  
Blogger --erica said...

Okay. I'm convicted.
Strong words Michelle!

6:20 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Here's to the Radiant Revolution of Self-Loving!!! I am SO up for that. Thanks for being a radiant rebel, for staring down self-loathing and rallying us to something better.

6:30 PM  
Blogger firstborn studio said...

i,too,will be printing this for a friend and bookmarking it for future examination....

you gorgeous woman you!


7:17 PM  
Blogger Michelle Fry said...

You are so right and the word is spreading. You got this from Snowsparkles blog and then carried it forward. Acumamakiki posted about it on her blog. I love that! It makes it so much more real to see that we all can relate to this state of mind. No more self loathing.

7:25 PM  
Blogger yaya said...

You are so good! I have been thinking about this for a long, long time and now is the time for change- Vive le resistance!

4:24 PM  
Anonymous lela said...

first of all... you are beautiful.

and... WOW!
you have such a gift. expressing these emotions and exploring them... helping others search their souls...


7:29 PM  
Blogger Misty said...

NOw that was just what I needed to read! Thank you! You are AMAZING!

8:47 PM  
Blogger Frankie said...

I want to join the revolution!!! I am often wondering this myself, who is profiting, why I wallow so in self loathing. It's time to cast aside those feelings and become self loving. Thanks for the influence!!

7:39 PM  
Anonymous charleigh said...

thank you! i needed to read this today. i've been going thru a rough time - finding it hard to accept/like the person i see. but now i feel flutters of hope that i can get thru this & be all i can be. thanks for the wake-up call!

12:32 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

powerful, powerful SPT. definitely has me thinking and re-thinking and thinking some more.

6:40 PM  

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