Tell me, how hairy are your legs?
The reason I’m asking is because one of the things I’m always aware of in my practice is how commonly women apologise for themselves.
“I’m sorry I haven’t shaved my legs”
“You’ll have to excuse the belly flab”
“My feet are pretty gross, sorry”
As you may recall from my previous blogs, I’m on the Self Love Train – a journey I’d love to encourage you to take too – and this trip of a lifetime is teaching me so much about subconscious behaviour patterns that are really detrimental to happiness, success and wellbeing.
This Self Love Train is quite a trip, and the insights along the way are definitely worth another postcard to you…
One very deep, core belief that I’ve discovered is a feeling of not being enough. As a result, there is then an unconscious drive to be doing, to be pleasing, to be seen to be achieving in some kind of warped attempt to justify my very existence and right to be here.
And I realise I’m not alone.
How often do you find yourself unable to relax because you feel you should be doing…something?
Or maybe your tendency is to over-deliver and go above and beyond what is asked of you, and even then still find yourself worrying at 3am if you’ve done enough.
Maybe it’s so normal for you to put other people’s needs ahead of your own that you don’t even know what your needs are!
Or maybe its always seems to be you who can’t say ‘No’ and ends up doing all the work?
Yep, guilty on all counts.
When you have a deeply held belief that you’re not enough, this belief will be driving all of your impulses. It’s like a constant striving to be something more, holding out for that gold star of approval – from your husband, your partner, your work place, your family – without realising that all you need do is breathe. And relax.
You are enough.
So what’s this got to do with your hairy legs?
Dr Christiane Northrup, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom speaks of this underlying sense of not being enough stemming from centuries of Western civilisation belief that the masculine is superior to femininity. As an obstetrician, she retells the common occurrence of women apologising to their husband for birthing a daughter rather then a son. She describes a deep cultural message that women need to apologise for being born female, and how the underlying sin of a female body infiltrates women’s expectations for themselves and the treatment they receive.
“Have you noticed how often women apologise?…No matter how many degrees you get in college, no matter how many awards you earn, somehow you can never measure up. If we must apologise for our very existence from the day we are born, we can assume that our society’s medical system will deny us the wisdom of our ‘second-class’ bodies. In essence, patriarchy blares out the message that women’s bodies are inferior and must be controlled.”
Fascinating stuff, and I witness the truth of this everyday in my work with women and their relationship to their body. It’s such a good explanation why women don’t complain after a birth without privacy, power or respect. We don’t expect it.
Now, before you get triggered by words such as ‘patriarchy’, I’m sharing this with you not to point the finger at the masculine or otherwise feed into the story of women as victims.
Playing the blame game only serves to keep you prisoner to your negative emotions. By making it someone else’s fault that things are as they are, blame hands your power over to someone or something else.
Whereas, when you take responsibility for your own wellbeing you are prepared to look beneath your immediate response to recognise how you might be creating the issue in the first place.
My point is to remind you that you are powerful. Power comes from awareness and the willingness to identify deeply held, underlying beliefs that shape your life.
It can be as simple as starting to recognise how often you do unnecessarily apologise for yourself, or noticing how common it is for you to make negative comments toward your body.
And to choose to not do that anymore.
This is the kinda core stuff to weed out when it comes to Self Love.
Imagine, just for a moment, that you truly felt in every cell of your body I AM ENOUGH.
How different would your life look?
Here’s to loving all of you, especially your hairy legs and belly flab.