I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Learning to Love Our Shadows and Imperfections
I have been writing a lot lately about the fact that age is settling in and I have started to notice it a lot more. I have had gray hair since I was a young girl and have never really looked at that as age related. However, I’ve noticed a few lines and wrinkles in places where there were none before and most recently have been told that I am in the beginning stages of arthritis in my left knee. When I combine these things with the ones I have always struggled with like my weight, I find myself sitting on the pity pot once in a while. Today was one of those days. While nothing was really wrong, I was just feeling a bit down and out. I tell myself that it is okay to have a bad day once in a while and that it is perfectly normal not to like everything about yourself. As I was muddling through my daily emails of devotions, quotes, and inspirational stories I came across one that hit me particularly hard causing me to have an “ah haaa!” moment. I like those; they make me think and I always learn something.
My message came from a daily correspondence called “The Inner Journey”. The title was “Love Your Shadows”. For whatever reason I knew exactly what this message was about and knew that I really needed to read all of it not just the highlighted quotes (which I do once in a while). I needed this and maybe some of you do too…here it is:
“Each of us has characteristics we define as ‘good’ and those we define as ‘bad.’ The parts of ourselves that we continually reject want to be acknowledged and loved. Until we honor these aspects, they will continue to assert themselves. They will do whatever they can to get our attention. Take a few moments to open to the parts of yourself that you do not love. See each one honestly for what it is. Explore the wounds and the motives that gave rise to its condition. Love a wounded part of yourself and it will heal. “
Sometimes when I walk from place to place with my preschoolers we play a game where we follow our shadows. Recently one little girl said “Oh wow Ms. Karla, look how big your shadow is!” Of course I played along pretending to chase her shadow with mine and we all laughed. However, I immediately went to that place in my head that obsesses over my size and insecurities. When in reality, I know that this small three year old child is making a comparison between big and little; after all she is only three and I am not.
Do you have shadows that you wrestle with? Do you honor your shadows and accept them as part of the uniqueness that is you? Dealing with our own imperfections can bring us to our knees at times. Comparing ourselves to the latest super model or high dollar actress on the big screen does nothing more than escalate a sense of being less than we really are. Standing back and taking a long hard look at ourselves not just for the outer beauty that I believe we all possess, but the inner beauty that is our soul. Embrace the wholeness of yourself and ignore what society tells you is imperfect. Imperfection is not something I am willing to pay attention to any longer. As I stared at the word imperfection I am
reminded by a testimony given by an acquaintance a few years ago. He said that as he looked at the word “imperfect” and studied the foulness of its meaning he began to see two separate words rise out of it…Im Perfect. I remember hearing a low “ah haaa” hush across the room as folks began to grasp the idea that we are perfectly our own unique selves because no one else could be who we are individually.
A quote by writer Elizabeth O’Connor completed the Inner Journey lesson that states: “Strangely enough we strengthen love in ourselves when we raise into consciousness the shadow side of our lives. Conversely, when we keep negative feelings out of sight, they smother the love that seems to lie deeper and closer to the real self. This is probably why there is so much pain in not loving. The life that is not able to express the love which is so integral to it grows deformed.”
Love yourself and your shadows. By strengthening the love you have for yourself you will be able to love others even more deeply. Begin today by focusing on the entirety of who you are and enjoy being your perfect self.
Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.