Day Fifty-One: Get Rid of Associations

Sometimes it’s not just society that drags us down; sometimes it’s ourselves.

We all have our own opinions about what is beautiful. We all have our own definitions that have developed in our heads over the years. 

And we all have ideas of what beauty is not. 

Sometimes, without even knowing it, we put beauty in our own little boxes (and I’m not even talking about the media this time). We have a very narrow definition of beauty that we try to live by, and when we don’t measure up to it, we panic. Meaning we compromise more of our lives to attain this rigid definition. 

It is tiring. 

When you have to spend all your time making sure you fit into the box, your life has lost purpose. You lose joy, peace, freedom, stability. All for the sake of an image you determined was beautiful ten years ago. 

Here’s the thing though: You can’t live by what you thought back then. You can’t live your life today by what you believed yesterday. Today is a whole new day with whole new experiences. Trying to fit yourself back into the box of tomorrow takes away whatever today has in store for you. 

What does this have to do with beauty? 

Everything. 

We all have a tendency to associate things with the past. For example, I used to swear that I would never, ever, EVER cut my hair short again. My memories of the only time I cut my hair were obstructed by my perception of what I looked like: fat. When I thought of short hair, I saw myself as “un-beautiful”. Unattractive. Pudgy. 

My past perceptions became today’s realities, and my definition of beauty became smaller and smaller. 

Today so many women live trapped in that box of their own making. The past dictates the present, even if it’s not their truth anymore. They refuse to do certain things, wear certain outfits, or go certain places… all for the sake of beauty. Someone somewhere at sometime told them they looked ugly wearing THAT, so THAT never appeared in their closet again. The past doesn’t serve to free them; it sticks around and torments them. 

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. 

Today I challenged myself to do something “un-beautiful”. I have always associated shorts with the past, with an image that I didn’t think measured up. I keep shorts folded in my drawers or hanging in my closet until the time when I will finally have the “perfect” body to wear them. 

Guess what? That perfection will never come, and as long as I keep waiting, I’m missing out on today. So I donned a pair of shorts and didn’t think about the past. In fact, I didn’t think much about how I looked in them either. I thought about today, and it’s blessings. I thought about the things to do, and the people to see. 

I thought about the freeing definition of beauty that is not defined by past perceptions or associations.

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