Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday Sentiment: A Letter To The Woman Who Is Never "Just Right"

Today's my birthday, so when my Patrons voted for a Saturday Sentiment post, I knew it had to be something true to my themes and styles - something honest about my life and the message I'm hoping my writing will spread. I wanted this open letter to be strong and encouraging, something that would allow me to share my story in a way that would help other women write the next chapter of their own.

So I thought about who would be the best person to write to in this Saturday Sentiment letter. A boy I loved with all my heart, with whom it didn't work out but from whom I learned so much about my worth and value? "The one that got away?" Nah, not him ... even though he taught me that no matter how perfect a couple might be for each other, sometimes it just isn't meant to be.

What about the frenemy who meant so much to me and played such a huge part in teaching me how to believe in myself - by telling me flat out that she didn't believe in me? Nah, not her either, though I owe her many thanks for so many valuable life lessons.

My mother, my father? The grandmothers who gave me my strong will but also resented my proud possession of it? The grandfather who gave me a love for all things WWE? Or the one who gave me so many years of body insecurity? My brothers? A role model? A previous teacher? The NFL? The President?

Nah. None of them either. Not today. Not on my birthday.

In the past, I've written to my daughters' future husbands, my past self, and my future self; I've even written in general to those living with PTSD, which I feel really speaks in an inspiring way to acknowledge what it's like to work your way through each and every moment watching with the utmost caution to see what the next moment might bring.

But the thing is, my "target audience" isn't just sufferers of PTSD, because even for those of us living with mental health issues, life is so much more than mental health - and so am I. And so are you.

My audience is predominantly women though - and while the women reading here do tend to be women living with or interested in mental health, they're also women from all walks of life. Some are into fashion and makeup, some are single parents like me. But the majority of my readers, despite all their differences, do have some things in common. They're into growing as people and giving their best to this life. They're into reading and they love a blog like this because it's a relate-able place to be. Perhaps more importantly though, they were raised in the same world as me, a world where little girls are indoctrinated daily into a belief that they are not enough, can never be enough. And in those rare moments when they are enough, they'll probably cross over and end up being too much.

It's like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but we're never Baby Bear's stuff - we never get to be the porridge that isn't too hot or too cold, we're never the chair that isn't too hard or too soft. And we're all too often reminded that we're never as irresistible or irreplaceable as the bed Goldilocks couldn't bring herself to climb back out of.

And as that thought flowed through my mind, carrying with it the memory of a poem I have loved for years because of how deeply it struck my heart ... that was when I knew what I wanted to write and who I wanted to write it to.


Dear Woman Who Is Never "Just Right,"

I need to tell you that the problem isn't really with you at all. It isn't really because you're too loud or too strong or too intimidating or too anything. And it isn't because you aren't brave enough or pretty enough or smart enough or because you lack some fundamental thing without which you can never be truly valuable.

It isn't because your thighs or your breasts or your hair or your eyes or your lips are too big or too small, and it isn't because you weigh or know or think too little or too much.

Listen to me when I tell you that the only real problem with your value lies in a society that needs you to be small so it can feel big, a world that needs your heart to bleed so it can feed its own thirst. The problem with your worth is not that you don't shine in the right way, but that you have allowed other peoples' envy and resentment and insecurity to smother the unique way that only you were meant to shine.

I believe that each and every person was created on purpose, for a purpose - including you - and that that purpose is inherently driven by the bigness that lies concealed in the corners of our hearts, hidden behind the shadows left behind by the demons in our pasts. I believe that every single one of us is "Just Right" at something, "Just Right" in some way. You are already just the right flavor and temperature of porridge, just the right comfort and softness to rest on, just the right safety and security to bury down in and take shelter.

Here this, woman, and take it to heart. You are enough. You are not too much or too little. And the biggest mistake you've ever made is believing the chorus of lies that tell you otherwise, believing the lie that your worth is found in the number on a scale, that your beauty is found in the right shade of a cream on a makeup counter, that your significance lies in the size of your 401k and your legacy is built on the opinions of others who may or may not have been built to fully appreciate the incredible, undeniable value that only you can ever possibly have.

You are not too little, and you are not too much. You are not too hard or too soft, too hot or too cold, too big or too small. You are enough. You. Are. Just. Right.


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