Prompt from The Daily Post
My soul feels gritty and barren sometimes. There are days when I only see who I am not, and I fail to see who I am. A few weeks ago, I went to work out at a gym. The membership is a “gift”. It’s a double-edged sword. I am so thankful for the chance to finally get in shape after years of physical setbacks that started with my car accident, and culminated with three surgeries year after year. I am also a bit chagrined that my health insurance (awarded to me because of the accident) also means that I am eligible for a free exercise program usually reserved for those of retirement age. Ergo, I am the unofficial poster child for “under 40 yet enrolled in a geriatric exercise program”. The best of days, I laugh about it, and make witty comments. The hardest of days are not pretty.
As I mentioned, I was at the gym a few weeks ago. The locker room that day had a perfectly beautiful woman who is probably or should be a model, standing in her fully natural glory. She had the body for it, and there are no rules that say “cover up”; it’s a locker room for crying out loud. She did nothing wrong…she was simply comfortable in her skin at the exact moment that I wasn’t comfortable in mine.
So, I slunk away and worked out harder than ever. I took a shower, found the angry courage to emerge in only a towel, and sauntered through the locker room…more out of spite than confidence. My breath caught when I noticed a woman standing in shock. She looked like she had been slapped in the face. I realized that she saw me in my towel; and had the exact same reaction that I had been going through…only her reaction was because of me.
As women, we are gifted with incredible amounts of the ability to nurture.
What has happened to us?
When did we become so focused on wanting to be better than the next woman, that we have completely walked away from our ability to REFRESH each other with our kind words?
What would have happened if I had eased the pain of that other woman with a witty introduction of, “Hi, I’m the unofficial poster child for not-yet-40-yet-enrolled-in-the-geriatric-exercise-program…hooray for both of us! We’re here, right? Can I buy you a smoothie to celebrate?”
I wish I had been courageously kind to her.
I read a beautiful article today by Zosia Mamet in Glamour magazine. In it, she divulges her own insecurities. She discusses the ramifications and the impact that our words and attitudes about our own bodies have on our daughters…and also on ourselves.
It refreshed me.
It encouraged me.
It reminded me that it’s okay to be confident simply being me.
It challenged me to be the woman whose confidence is kind…and refreshing.