Silence Is Not Always Golden

I’ve been talking more lately, and not because I’ve been feeling chatty.   I’ve realized how much I’ve kept under wraps and repressed to keep the peace and to just get along.  Frankly, it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever done to myself.  Silencing myself has been a huge burden.  I’ve been grieving.  I’ve been healing.  I’ve been shouldering some difficult situations that don’t have easy answers.

copy of copy of copy of copy of copy of copy of copy of body positivityThere’s a lot of good too, but I’ve realized in the past week that not all silence is golden.  Not all silence heals.  Sometimes, you have tell someone what you feel.  We all want to “look our best” at the expense of feeling our best and fessing up that there may be some issues.

One of the biggest things on my mind and my heart this week is remembering Fortuna.  She was diagnosed this time last year of renal lymphoma and in April, almost four months to the day later, she died.  Her death and issues around her death had me in a deep state of shock and denial.  I told few people she had actually passed.  I loved her so much and I couldn’t speak about her without being immobilized by grief, pain and anger.  fortuna and kristinCancer is a cruel disease and some of the circumstances I dealt with peripherally didn’t help either. I’ve been having a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help raise funds for research to help both people and pets who are suffering from this rare disease.  I still tear up each time I post about the fundraiser.  It’s okay.  Better a thousand tears than a mess of hardened, bottled up feelings.

Tuna was naturally very expressive.  She always would tell you what she wanted.  You didn’t have to guess.  She was not coy.  She didn’t hide what she thought.  So much of what is hurtful and damaging grows in silence.  We don’t acknowledge something someone said or did hurt and then it just becomes part of us somehow.  My silence magnified my pain.  I was getting harder and harsher as time went by because I was really angry.  I was angry at cancer for killing her and turned some of that anger on myself.

I am doing better now.  The tears are still there, but the what-ifs or what-could-I-have-done-betters are now mostly gone.  I got to a point of surrender–and if you know me, surrender is not an easy thing.  I’m used to winning..  I expect myself to overcome.  The word “surrender” is not a go-to for me, but it has been lately.  I’ve surrendered some of my pain, some of my angst by talking about it.  Talking about her life and her suffering has helped heal some of mine.

If you have something that’s burdening you, please get some help.  “Suffering in silence” may seem noble, but it can hurt too.  It can make your pain greater.  We all have problems to face and once you get in the habit of airing them out, the problems become more manageable.

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Silence is not always golden, but the love in our hearts is.  Speaking from the heart, even when it’s inconvenient, will always serve you better than pushing your feelings down.  I miss Tuna every day.  I miss her honest green eyes.  She not only saw people; she saw through them.  I miss they way she chewed my hair.  I missed her demanding things of me as a matter of course. Today and every day, ask you if your attitude of “put up and shut up” is really serving you, or if you may be hiding something you really need to heal.  Today, I am still healing from my loss of Tuna.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for caring.

 

 

Fears Separate Us from Our Prosperity

It’s amazing to me how much we buy based on our insecurity.  We buy creams to “correct” wrinkles.  We buy makeup to hide “flaws”.  We spend money on all sorts of costly cosmetic treatments to beat aging.  We buy into diet program after diet program to keep weight off, instead of dealing with the “why” of the weight.

Copy of body positivity (2)I think all of this buying into what we “should” look like or how we appear is more than vanity.  It belied a great amount of fear and insecurity–fears of over not being seen, fear of being out-of-control, fear of being judged and disrespected.

A few days ago, I was hanging out in a very tony area of Los Angeles, catching lunch between meetings at a casual lunch spot.  Every fear I mentioned above got triggered.  I noticed right when my plus size self walked in, it was like I was immediately out of place.  It was like no one saw me.  This area is high traffic for tourists, but there was no line after the lunch rush.  I sat for at least 10 min before a waiter approached me and then another 15 min just to get the glass of water I had asked for.  No one bothered to refill it.  Meanwhile, the lithe couple that was seated next to me five minutes after I arrived were served with much more attentiveness.  Newsflash:  the svelte woman ordered the same food I did–veggie quiche and a lightly dressed side salad.

It’s hard not to feel out of place sometimes.  I felt completely unseen at this lunch spot.  Normally, this would be the stuff of Yelp reviews, but instead of dumping my anger on Yelp, I wanted to see where that anger was coming from. So here it is:

I fear being unseen as a plus size woman in the world.  I fear having assumptions made about my self-care.  I fear having assumptions made about my personal finances due to my size.  I fear being made to feel out-of-place.  I fear being judged for how I appear to the world.

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Though I was angry at how I was treated, I am grateful because I took a moment to understand where that anger was coming from instead of just being another unhappy, indignant customer.

And…that’s why it’s so easy to sell diet culture to the masses.  Most women are plus sized and they’re told they’re “less than”.  We fear being left out so we buy into the useless pills, the cosmetic offerings of the moment, all to push back against that fear of not mattering.  Just for today, take a moment before you whip out your credit card and ask yourself if you’re making a fear-based purchase, especially if it’s in regards to your appearance.  What made your feel that way and why?

Separating women from their hard-earned money (pay gap and all) is a means of controlling women.  Don’t let someone profit from your fear and insecurity.  Walk through world, proud, no matter what…even when tony tourist spots treat you like shit.