The Weight of Glorious

A little over a year ago, I wrote about a day when I lost that glorious feeling. When the judgements and body shaming of others felt as if it had been directed at me personally. I folded in on myself, wanted to make myself small and to hide. My sense of glorious faded like so much morning mist and I felt like all I wanted was to feel nothing, be no one. It happens and it’s hard.

But then there’s also the opposite of that. When the weight of glorious crowns your head and sits on your being and you feel like you could conquer the world, that you could change the course of history with one strong foot set upon its pages. Those mornings where I wake with a profound sense of my own beauty; those evenings when I step from the shower and find that woman in the mirror positively breathtaking. Those days when I heard the beauty thrum in my voice and I open up my throat and sing with abandon.

That weight of glorious can be utterly breath-stealing. Like “how-did-I-get-here-and-who-gave-me-the-makeover-I-look-damn-wonderful” breath-stealing. I’ve had the weight of glorious knock the air out of my lungs and cause me to stare at my reflection as if it were a person I had never seen before in my life but had instantly fallen head over heels for.

Believe me. It does happen. It happens, and it’s awesome! The weight of your glorious is not a burden; it’s there to be enjoyed, reveled in, and channeled. Pay attention to the next time you feel that weight settle on your spirit. That sense of being glorious. When you look in the mirror and admit you’re stunning, when you finish that project and you know it’s excellent work, when you belt out that tune and feel your joy rise up with it, when someone just stops and stares at you like they have never seen before in their life but have instantly fallen head over heels for you. That moment when all you can do is catch your reflection and smile, even if you’re not entirely sure why, that’s it: that’s your glorious.


Pretty Unmentionables Day

There are days that just require pretty underthings. I don’t know how much you think on or even agree with this but it is true for me, at least. There are days when I feel so down about my body (even though I am working hard to be happy with it again) that the only thing that makes me feel better about the physical me is wearing pretty underwear. Today, it was a lacy navy bra from Victoria’s Secret and a lovely, cheeky pair of purple panties with navy-blue hearts and trimmed with matching lace. One of those underwear sets that, though you don’t buy them together, end up being just perfect for each other and for you. Today was a necessary Pretty Unmentionables Day, though, of course, now I’ve mentioned them. Oops!

Honestly, I am unhappy with my body right now. I don’t like the way I look from sternum to thigh. And it bothers me greatly because, just one month ago, I thought I looked quite good and I felt all around. I am not sure what in my routine has changed since then but, yeah, not happy right now. So it’s time to step up the working out and going back to watching what I eat more carefully. I want to be healthy and strong, and feel good about myself, but, right now, I don’t. So that needs to change, but change doesn’t happen in 24 hours. So I needed a Pretty Unmentionables Day.

There come times when we all just need a _______ Day. That day where we do what we can to feel better or to give negative feelings and attitudes the middle finger and go on with our day in spite of them. A dear friend of mine has Pretty Lipstick Day when she’s feeling down and I have participated in that a few times. Uniting is good, especially when it is a union in defiance of negativity. I didn’t feel great about myself today as I dressed but, all day, I remembered that underneath my jeans and top, though no one else saw (OK, so I showed the husband when he came home), I was wearing pretty, lacy underthings. Underthings that made me feel alluring and, in my eyes, made me look quite good, which was the entire point.

Don’t be afraid to take your ___________ Day, whatever it might be that you do for yourself and just for yourself. It can be something obvious or something that you hold as just your own little secret. We all need those days every now and again, the days when we pick ourselves up, brush off, and decide that there will be at least one bright spot in our minds and hearts that day. And it can still do us good, even if no one else knows about it.

The Commiseration of the Hidden

When Ben and I first met, one of the things we bonded over was the truth of masks. What I mean by ‘the truth’ is that we both wore them and we knew it. And, for once, we were able to be honest with someone about it. I don’t meant that I hadn’t talked to close friends about it before but Ben’s understanding of what I meant seemed to go to a deeper level than anyone I had spoken to of it before.

The masks I wore, I had worn for years. They were old companions. The heaviest and most painful one of all was Perfection, seconded only by Expectation. I remember the crippling fear that I felt upon the thought that people whom I had known all my life would find out that I wasn’t perfect, that I wasn’t everything they thought I was, who they expected me to be. That I was flawed. It made me cry and despair that, if it were ever known, I would lose everything and everyone. I had to be perfect. I had to be what everyone expected. Perfect daughter, perfect student, perfect Christian, perfect girl. So I tied the mask on tighter,so tightly that it cut into my soul. When I met Ben, as we talked and got to know each other, I recognized the mask he wore and we found that we could help each other take it off, with a person who was so intimately familiar with the mask that they knew how to remove it without hurting us, without flinching, and without rejecting the person beneath it. No judgement, no condemnation, just understanding, acceptance, care, and love.

Even before I met Ben, I had realized that I had come to know the masks better than my own face. I had lost myself beneath the layers and I wanted to — needed to — learn ME. I wanted to claw myself away, strip the skin, the identity of years and years, down to the tender flesh beneath and start again. Not that I regretted my life, no. I was loved and blessed. But I wanted to be ME and ME alone, not a me that I had to hide beneath a mask because I feared rejection. So I started, and I am not done. I am still in the process of learning and becoming who I am, even at 31 years of age. It is not an easy process by any means. It is painful, it is vulnerable, it is a risk. It is not easy to confront myself, to learn things about myself, to be unapologetic for being myself. But it is worth it, if I allow it to be so.

I do not approach life like anyone else does; I am unique in my particular combination of ways. I want to be understood, like anyone else, but I must accept and deal when I am not. I am learning to give grace to myself as well as to others when it is needed, when I could indeed be much harsher. I want my reactions to be conscious decisions, not emotional outbursts because that is not helpful to the betterment of the situation.

I have personas, yes – wife, mom, teacher, etc. – but I am still Mel within them and, right now, the struggle is keeping Mel here and not falling once more into the trap of defining myself by what are, really, just parts of me. I want to be me. I want to be Mel – what I love, what I believe, how I am, who I am. And I want the rest to be detail.