The other day I ran into (almost crashed with our carts!) an old high school friend at Walmart. I had seen just before I went to Walmart, on her fb feed that she had just lost one of her beloved furry kids. Anyway,
I told her how sorry I was, and she was very gracious, but something she then said kind of shocked me. “This is why I look the way I do today!”. Wow! Wow I thought. To feel the need to say that to me, at 55 years of age? We will both soon be 56. It just struck me odd. And perhaps its because for years now, I’ve not focused on the way I looked, nor the manner in which I dressed. I admit, some of that had to do with depression, but when I see people I love, I don’t look them over from top to bottom. I look into their eyes, and I’m paying attention to their words.
It saddened me, and also baffled me at the same time that she would be concerned of such. A member of her family just died, who gives a shit how she looks? Or have i just become too uncaring about this stuff?
She’s a beautiful woman, with the biggest blue eyes, and a gorgeous smile. And she was in pain, I could see it written all over her face and in her eyes. My heart hurt for her and her family. I know how hard it is when our furry families leave us. It’s painful as hell. No one wants to say goodbye to such unconditional and gentle love and companionship.
So I’ve been sitting with that memory of our meeting. And I’m not insinuating that she did anything wrong, but why did it stand out to me? Why did that response come to mind for her, when she was sharing of her pain?
I suppose it could’ve been that I looked like crap. Laughing. And I didn’t have death of a pet (Thank God) to blame! And I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t about her, it was about me. I guess if someone is going to judge me by the way I look, for whatever reason, I guess I deep down know, they aren’t my friend! I never once looked at her to think anything of her. I wasn’t judging her, I was judging myself! And with her comment, I felt like she was looking at what I looked like, not who I was, and the words I was saying to her.
How hard we are on ourselves. This saddens me and continues to be the biggest issue I contend with on a daily basis. I’m learning to be kinder, softer with myself, but it’s the first place that retorts back to old behavior, and I have to be vigilant with my self talk, turning it to positive. There are some days, that’s all I accomplish. Recycling old negative thoughts into positive ones. With that said, the days are fewer and far between what they used to be.
What isn’t important to me is what someone drives, the diamonds or sapphires they wear, but I do look at their eyes, and I try to see what is in their heart with the limited time I’m with another. Because THAT is how I want others to look at me!!! But will they? Doesn’t matter, it’s out of my control what another person thinks of me, and I’m grateful I don’t care today. But here is where the whole process ended up for me.
What if? What if we all felt better about ourselves, and loved and cared for ourselves. What if we didn’t feel the need to “look” or “play” the part? What if we stood one with our grief and said “I’m having a crappy day, I need to be gentle on myself?”
Are you one that can do that? I dare ya!
So if the person reading this blog and whom I met in the Dog Aisle at Walmart, my bestest from way back in our teens, You are beautiful! Your eyes are as blue as they were in high school, and your smile as bright. Be kind to yourself! Give yourself permission to grieve, and don’t judge yourself (or me) on the way I look! Love ya girl.