OH, and P.S. I am working on forgiving myself for them. See? I can take my own advice!
1.Joke About How Old and Fat You Are
Oh boy. Do NOT casually joke about this stuff. I swear, the subconscious brain and your body HEAR everything. The problem? They have no sense of humor and not ability to understand sarcasm. Plus, our "casual" words are ironically some of our most powerful manifestations. It's because we say them over and over with our brain in a more relaxed, non-resistant state. Phew. Creepy.
2. Don't Forgive Others or Yourself
The crazy thing about this is that we have these people that drive us bonkers, but then we let them take up all of the real estate in our brain that could have been used for other things like reading Jane Austen books, thinking about if someone invented zero calorie brownies that tasted good, or solving cancer.
An unforgiving person is....well...I'll say it. Unattractive. But, think about that word for a second. Un-attract-ive. This literally means that you are repelling the things you WANT to attract in your life...like awesome people that don't suck. The more you focus in on these people that have wronged you, betrayed you, or hurt you in any way, the MORE you get of THOSE SAME KIND OF PEOPLE. Yikes.
One last thing here. I have to remember this myself. Forgiveness isn't about bringing you CLOSER to that person. It is about bringing you closer to God and yourself. Speaking of yourself? The more you don't forgive you, the more you repel your good.
3. Threaten Others! Go Ahead. Do it TODAY!
A few years ago, we had a corset order that went completely absolutely horridly, and I do definitely take responsibility for my part. There was not good communication between me and the customer, and even after explaining how to measure her body and sending her pictures and diagrams, she still got the waist measurement off by 13 inches. She sent it back 1, 2, and 3 times for alterations. The first time it was sent back, it was still 8 inches off, and then when she remeasured again and told me the next size to send, it ended up 5 inches TOO SMALL. I had never had this happen and was just beside myself. I am a big believer of taking personal responsibility for my problems, so each time she sent me an upset email about how the piece didn't fit, I would frankly apologize to her and tell her that it was MY fault, and I should have double, and triple checked with her on her measurements. I know it takes two to tango, and I should have understood that I wasn't maybe the right person to do this job for her. My pride wouldn't let me just let this order go, and after spending $100 shipping it back and forth and doing the alterations and remakes for free, we finally got it right! I felt so embarrassed and bad about myself at that time that I just told her she could keep it and we would refund her for the full amount.
I got back a letter and she told me that we were the worst company she had ever worked with and she was BIG in the SCA and was going tell EVERYONE SHE KNEW how awful we were and that she was taking our company down.
You know, I must have had some good karma saved up, because in that moment, I actually SAW this woman. She obviously didn't have people that listened to her and understood her, and she must have had a lot of forgiveness with-held from HER. She had to learn all of this from somewhere. I think that's the most important thing to remember when dealing with this kind of thing. This person has experienced this before. The learned it. They spread it. I imagined how TRULY sad it was going to be when she loudly and vehemently talked about this company that she absolutely hated (I am hoping she was rocking her corset and looking mighty fine when she did this, but that's just my little "boo-ya" moment I'm hoping for) and how they had wronged her so horribly. I imagined her friends listening and feeling that negative energy flowing out of her.
I don't feel good when I think about this lady suffering. Even after all of that, I STILL wish I could meet her in person and talk to her and get to know her. I don't feel malice. I just feel sad. That "savior" complex will get you every time, I guess.
4.Act Like a Sullen Teenager. Go ahead. Cross Your Arms and Rolls Your Eyes.
Even just this last weekend, I was at a seminar, and it was super-charged, board-breaking, walking-across-a-bead-of-glass to break through your limiting beliefs, happy kind of stuff. After we would take breaks, when we came back in, they would be blasting loud dance music with all these people dancing and flailing about. When I came in and heard "Cotton Eyed Joe" I just wanted to run away and crawl into a dark hole and never come out. It brought back all of the trauma of high school dances in one fell swoop. I stood there, folding my arms, scowling, and the cheery people around me happily tried to get me to "shake my pregnant groove thang.". No. NO!!!!!!!!!!
I wasn't pretty. I wasn't "fun". I was unattractive. *sigh* I told you that I was intimate with all of these points!!
5.Talk About How Much You Hate Good Looking People
Ah, this is the advice that I need right here. Deep breaths, Michelle. Okay, so I had this revelation, and maybe none of you are going to be surprised or even thoughtful about it, but I sure thought it was mind-blowing. One day I realized that if I channeled significant amounts of energy into how pissed and annoyed I was at "skinny girls who eat anything that they want and never gain any weight" I would never ever ever ever become anything remotely like that. In fact, it seems more likely that the message that I was sending out clearly to the universe is "Please, keep me fat and make my pants explode by even looking at a Red Robin billboard". I definitely wasn't asking for fast metabolism and a carefree attitude about weight. I'm honestly focusing on and giving power to all of the things that I think are wrong with myself.
When we hate and criticize attractive people because they make us feel threatened and small, we are making ourselves even smaller, and repelling those attributes away from our lives. Profanity.
A better avenue? Take joy in all the beauty of the earth. FEEL, deep down in your bones, a lightness and gratitude that there is so much beauty, and there is always more beauty coming in and flourishing. Thinking about all of this beauty automatically makes your being more beautiful. Truly.
Wow, guys. This stuff is really hard and uncomfortable for me. I apologize if it's doing the same thing to your brain as it's doing to mine!
6.Seek Approval of Others, and When You Get It, Shoot Down and Deny Their Compliments
On the other hand, if you DO get approval from others, just say "thank you" and that is it. End of discussion. "Thank you." Now, ladies, I do this wretched thing as well, so remember that I'm right there along with you...but, when someone comes up and says, "Wow, you look like you've lost weight" and you say, "Oh my hell, I've gained 10 pounds and I ate a whole pan of brownies while watching Downton Abbey last night and I haven't exercised in 6 months and I'm more bloated than ever!!!", it gets real, rill awkward. (And just a side note, "weight" doesn't have a whole lot to do with the *insert expletive here* scale. I've seen women who looked 100 pounds lighter after they kicked an addiction, got rid of a toxic relationship, or just made a change in their attitude toward life. Their physical bodies might weigh the same, but I don't "experience" them as that former weight.)
7.Talk About How Much You Hate Exercise and Healthy Food
But, what people "hear" is more like this. "I think you're stupid for taking care of yourself and liking that food. I like junk and my body shows it". I'm not sure that any of us truly want that.
I heard a startling revelation the other day at that super happy conference. A man got up and shared that he had realized something about food. He said that when he ate live, vibrant, healthy foods, it made him more AWARE of his feelings and body. The problem is that the awareness brought up emotions that he hadn't dealt with, beliefs that were painful, and an uncomfortable awareness of his body. When he ate "junk food" it numbed the pain and suffering. It made his body and mind less aware, and it felt good to not have to deal with that unpleasant stuff.....which, of course, means more unpleasantries down the road.
Shucks. I guess I won't be making those brownies.
8.Scoff at the Success of Others
Honestly, guys, I'm just straight up jealous. The freaking songs stick in my head for days.....and you know what? I would have LOVED to have that success. I really really wanted to play guitar and sing and be a rock star for a living. I know, real original, right? I am just pissed that she did it and I didn't. That is all.
Oh....also, it makes me unattractive. Remember what that word means? It means I'm repelling the things that I wanted in my life. I'm not attracting them.
9. Compare Yourself Constantly to Others
I went to town the other day and felt like my hair looked good and my outfit was really cute and put together, considering it was dang maternity clothing. When I got to the Children's Museum and let me kids run free, I started noticing the people around me. Now, friends, I just need you to know that Utah can be a really hard place to live for someone who is insecure. I swear, there are more freaking gorgeous, perfect people in this area than anywhere I've ever been. It's very competitive, and there's a lot of money in this area to help people with their unreasonable beauty.
Yes, this is creepy, and I take full responsibility for my actions, but JUST out of curiosity, I started counting the women in the room that looked like they were really thin and fit, had perfect hair, had expensive clothing, and generally made me feel like a lumpy piece of poop. Out of around 35 moms in the room, 32 of them were at that level. Once again, I know it's creepy. I was weak......also hypoglycemic and super low-blood sugary. When I say, "perfect" I freaking mean "PERFECT". I could tell that several of these women had 3 or more kids, and they STILL looked 10% body fat and 120 pounds. ARGGGG. And they had THICK hair. Something I've wanted my whole entire life. I put so much "thickening product" goop crap in my hair that it's probably 65% that stuff. I want it SOOO bad. They all had this effortless way about how they moved. They didn't have to try to sit in a certain way to "not" look poochy. They just freaking lounged and looked beautiful.
Now, guys. I'm not holding back here. I'm letting out all of my vulnerability. I hope you can understand that I'm really just an awkward 14 year old still hoping to be noticed and feel pretty.
I can PROMISE you that I went through the whole entire script that is appropriate in this situation. "Michelle, everyone has problems. Just because all these women are perfect doesn't mean they don't have problems and insecurities just like everyone else. " "Honey, comparison is the thief of joy!" "Boo (this is my nickname that only my family calls me) You are your own unique kind of beautiful!" "Sweetheart, you should be happy that these women have obviously worked so hard to achieve what they have! It means you can do the same!!"
See how I was nice to myself??? See how loving I was? See that LOGIC?
Yeah, it didn't work. By the time I left the museum, I was bawling and swearing up a storm. My kids were terrified. My husband ran me to the nearest food place, and I cried and screamed as I yelled into a hamburger. Maybe the lesson here is to not be around human beings when your blood sugar is that low.
Guys, honestly, I haven't figured out how to NOT compare. I can read all the fluffy, inspirational, cheery crap ever, and I still fall into the same trap.
But remember......you get more of what you focus upon. I am actively attracting more women into my life that make me feel inferior, further cementing my belief that I'm not good enough.
10.Take More Selfies. That Should Do the Trick.
And, onto my final point. I need this drilled into my brain. We are NEVER happy when we're thinking only of ourselves. When your life only revolves around you, things go downhill in a hurry. Think of how absolutely stunning a kind, thoughtful woman who is friendly and thinks of others is! The most "attractive" people I know are the ones who are compassionate, good listeners, charitable, and cheerful. People who are laughing, making others laugh, and just LOVING are so much more beautiful than any physical attributes could ever possibly be.