My girlfriend Marsha is probably one of the most beautiful girls I know and yet, at thirty-five years old, she is still talking about not wanting to be liked for her looks. She has no problem being judged for her brains and hard work; those are fair game, but not her physical beauty. She spends a great deal of time wrestling with her demons and accepting her dysfunctional past, but has been unable to accept and take pleasure from the way she looks, as if there were something wrong with being beautiful. She talks about taking responsibility for her life, but she hasn't quite figured out that her beauty is on equal footing with all the other stuff she has been given.
My friend Paul seems to innately understand this dilemma. Once when he brought in dinner and I asked what I could do, he replied, “Sit there and look beautiful. " “No, really, " I said. “What can I do?" “Be useful, " he said. “Just sit there and look good, that's enough. " Every time I went to get up, he made me sit down. After a while, I began to relax. It felt good not to do anything to be appreciated. I remember the feeling that began to encompass me. It was different, something I was not used to. All the ways I gave myself value-I cook, I prepare food, I take care of someone else, I have style in the kitchen-had been taken away. But instead of feeling diminished, I felt cherished. All my grown-up posturing had stopped, and I was like a pretty little girl that was loved by all the boys. There was nothing conditional going on. The feeling was pure and solid-I was confident. I knew who I was and that was enough.
We are so accustomed to trading good feelings and entering into silent agendas with one another that when we just sit quietly in a chair with nothing demanded of us we think we have no value. Most of our life has been spent trying to figure out what we need to do in order to get this and obtain that. We have never gotten the message that it is okay simply to just be.
Once we realize this, we are on to something. Looking at our life from this vantage point serves us well. Suddenly, the whole panorama of who we are is there for the taking. We use it all-recognizing the parts that ease our way, accepting the rest, and rejoicing in them all. Our life is not any better or worse than anyone else's is. It is simple ours. Knowing this truth gives us reverence and allows us to celebrate our humanness.
The universe is abundant and generous. We never need to apologize for wanting anything, and we do not have to prove that we deserve it. Simply by being on this Earth, we are worthy of all life's bounty.
Chapter 25 from Reality Works Copyright © 2002 Chandra Alexander
Chandra Alexander, MSW, has been living and teaching authenticity for the last thirty years. Selected by The Oprah Magazine as the Life Coach to deliver twelve coaching sessions to the grand prize winner of their Toyota Moving Forward contest, she also spent five years on NBC/TV/Daytime giving a weekly “Reality Check. " Her blog, http://ChandraUnplugged.com is a real find for any true seeker on the path to authenticity. Along with a private practice in Tampa, FL, she coaches clients all over the world in the areas of relationships, work and consciousness. To learn more about her books and CDs, visit her website at http://Coachgirl.com