My Tender Self

Admit to what you feel greedy about.  It will point to your most tender desire.

This is one of Danielle LaPorte’s “Truth Bomb”s.  If  you aren’t familiar, Truth Bombs are a box of cards with insightful and/or thought provoking statements, designed to “break open your heart and soothe your soul”.  There is a box of them at my yoga studio, and we often spread them out on the counter and take turns choosing one.  Last night someone got the one above, and it broke open my heart and soothed my soul!

The other women were unimpressed, and put it back in the box before I could take a picture,  but it resonated with me more than any other.  They were puzzled and asked me to explain it.  I tried,  but failed, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

What does this mean?  I can only explain through an example.

When I was teenager my parents implemented a clothing allowance for me and my siblings.  We could spend it any way we wanted, but once exhausted they would buy us nothing else.  If we wanted an expensive coat they would get it, but we’d be taking a big chunk out of our budget, and might not have money for a bathing suit come summer.  It was a great idea, teaching us the value of budgeting and forcing us to plan ahead, both of which it accomplished.

It was also a horrible idea, and it hurt me immensely.

I was an extremely anxious and insecure teenager.  I was also a pretty teenager, so I was often scrutinized by my peers.  If I’d been self assured I’d have paid their comments no mind, but I was not.  The clothing allowance left no wiggle room, so wearing trendy clothes was difficult, not -re-wearing outfits impossible.   I often felt humiliated at how I was dressed.  Kids are universally cruel.  Today, girls have to wear Uggs, not the knock-offs.  Boys have to wear Nike’s or Underarmour, not the cheaper Addidas or Puma’s.   As a teen I’d have been wearing the knock-off Uggs, and I would have internalized every taunt, every snide comment, every side-ways glance and giggle, each one feeding my growing insecurity.

Today, I feel greedy about clothing.  I can’t afford new clothing, so I usually shop at thrift stores.  I shop sales for my boys and occasionally pick up something for them at the thrift shop (but don’t tell them!).  I am greedy about clothes.  I am obsessed with how my clothes look, and how others might interpret them.  Will I be seen as fat, ugly, socially awkward?  If my weight changes and something starts to show off my stomach bulge, it gets shoved to the back of my closet.  I have many days in which I’d rather not leave the house, because I don’t have the “right” clothes.   On those days I chide myself for my shallowness.  I berate myself for being the type of person that 1) doesn’t have the best clothes, and 2) Cares!  I have so many great things in my life, and the thought that the way my jeans fit might prevent me being my authentic self causes me tremendous angst.

When I saw this truth bomb I saw my love/hate relationship with clothes in a different way.  My greed for clothes comes from that anxious, insecure teenager, so desperate to fit in, praying to get through a day unnoticed.  She is still alive and well inside me, and every time I get dressed, she’s the one who scrutinizes me, she’s the one who decides if I look ok, if I can leave the house that day.  She is afraid for me; for herself.

I’m sure there are many other things I feel greedy for, and I’ll be pondering this, because I agree, those things I covet lead me to the hidden parts of myself who need their voice to be heard, need to be cared for, need to be embraced and assured that they are ok.

I wonder what else I’ll find as I ponder this question:  what do I feel greedy for?  I feel excited at the opportunity to understand my feelings in this new way.  I’m looking forward to finding and caring those inner children who are afraid, lonely, angry, jealous, joyful, excited, uninhibited.  They are all a part of who I am today, and they deserve a voice.

What are you greedy for?




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